24 August 2005

Teenager arrested over yard arson


A lorry was one of the vehicles destroyed in the blaze

A 17-year-old youth has been arrested over a suspected arson attack at a council yard in Ballymena which caused damage estimated at £50,000.

A new tractor, a low-loader lorry and a small truck were destroyed in the fire at the Market Road depot, a nursery for plants for municipal flower beds.

A new transit van was also badly damaged in the blaze.

It is the second major fire at council property this week. On Monday a fire caused £1m damage in Londonderry.

In this latest incident, firefighters managed to prevent the fire at the premises spreading to nearby flats.

Firefighters stopped the blaze from spreading to nearby flats

Ballymena Station Officer Kieran Barr said there appeared to be four seats of fire.

"The crews worked well to stop the fires spreading and cut down the damage that way," he said.

"In the boundary of the grounds there's a block of flats. If the shed had have gone, we would have had to consider evacuating the residents from the flats.

"At the minute, the police are carrying out an investigation, but because the seats of fire are so far apart, in my opinion it would be deliberate."

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