Locals spooked after arson attack on council house

Locals spooked after arson attack on council house
A garda on duty behind the house which was badly damaged in a fire at The Meadows, Belgooly, Co. Cork.Picture Denis Minihane.

A GARDA investigation is ongoing into an arson attack at a house in Belgooly which has spooked local residents.

A house at The Meadows estate in Belgooly was gutted by fire on Tuesday night, with preliminary examinations indicating that it was a case of ‘criminal damage by fire’, according to gardaí.

Gardaí confirmed to The Echo that they were treating it as a very serious incident and said a technical examination was undertaken today.

Initially, it was feared that the tenant of the local authority house, a woman in her 40s, may have been in the house at the time of the fire.

However, firefighters were able to establish that the house was unoccupied as they worked for over four hours to bring the blaze under control.

Firefighters at the scene of a fire in Belgooly last night. 
Firefighters at the scene of a fire in Belgooly last night. 

Superintendent Brendan Fogarty said that the preliminary results of their investigation would indicate that it was a case of criminal damage by fire.

Supt Fogarty said that they were now carrying out house-to-house inquiries and interviewing witnesses of the incident.

Local Fine Gael councillor Kevin Murphy said other residents of the estate were scared and upset. 

“It is a close-knit family estate, everyone knows each other,” he said.

Mr Murphy said he had been speaking to a number of residents who told him that they have been left frightened following the incident that gutted one house and damaged two others, one on either side of the house where the fire originated.

“The roof has fallen in and the windows and doors are all destroyed. The council were out boarding it up,” he said.

Units from Carrigaline and Kinsale received the callout just before 11pm to a house in The Meadows estate in the small town.

The fire brigade was at the scene until just after 3am today.

In a statement, the County Fire Brigade said: “Cork County Council Fire Crews arrived at 11.04pm. The fire was in an advanced state.

“The fire was extinguished and the house was extensively damaged.

“The fire crew succeeded in stopping the fire from spreading to the neighbouring house, which only suffered minor damage at the parting wall.”

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