Man arrested on suspicion of arson after flat fire as five PSNI officers hospitalised

Man arrested on suspicion of arson after flat fire as five PSNI officers hospitalised

A MAN has been arrested on suspicion of arson following a fire at a block of flats in North Belfast this morning.

The man was detained on suspicion of arson endangering life after being rescued from the building by fire service personnel.

It is the second major incident this week at the Brookfield Mill flats on Flax Street after a man was stabbed in a stairwell of the building on Monday night.

Five PSNI officers, who were the first to arrive on the scene at around 5.40am, were treated for the effects of smoke inhalation after they evacuated residents.

The arrested man was also treated for smoke inhalation.


Detective Sergeant Stephen Gardiner said: “I would commend the bravery of the responding officers who dealt with this incident, for their selflessness and commitment to protecting the public and ensuring the residents of the building were removed from harm’s way and were kept safe.”

Sinn Féin councillor Ryan Murphy said families in the building are becoming concerned over recent incidents and want to be re-homed.

“This is a regular occurrence for those families living there and it is regularly brought up at our multi-agency meetings,” he said.

“A number of residents have been in contact with me since last weekend voicing their concerns and their desire to be re-housed elsewhere.

“This can no longer continue to happen. We need to see this addressed once and for all.

“Myself along with Gerry Kelly MLA have asked North Belfast Housing along with the PSNI to attend a meeting on Wednesday for us to come up with a way forward to deal with this.”

All residents have since been allowed to return to their homes following this morning’s evacuation.