Woman in her 50s rescued after burglars tied her up and set her house on fire in rural Northern Ireland
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Woman in her 50s rescued after burglars tied her up and set her house on fire in rural Northern Ireland

A WOMAN in her 50s has been tied up, robbed and had her home set on fire in rural Co. Down.

Two masked men entered the woman’s home on School Road, near the village of Clough shortly after 1pm on Monday.

The intruders tied up the woman before making off with an iPad and a MacBook.

A fire was started in an upstairs room, but the woman was saved thanks to the quick thinking of two passers-by who rescued her from the burning house.

Police said significant damage was caused as a result of the blaze, which was extinguished by firefighters.

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They added that the woman was not injured but had been "left shocked by her ordeal".

The suspects left the scene in a grey Peugeot 206 that was found burnt out shortly after midnight at the Old Mill on the Clarkhill Road in Castlewellan.

South Down DUP MLA Jim Wells said the incident had left the local community feeling "fearful".

"Only for the quick thinking of two people passing by, who saw the fire and alerted the emergency services this could have been a different story," he told BBC News.

"There have been many incidents of burglaries recently and this is a concern across the province.

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"It is important that any suspicious activity is reported."

The PSNI are appealing for anyone who has information or was in the area at the time to contact detectives at Ardmore Police Station on 028 9065 0222, quoting reference 952 19/2/18.