Arson attack at Carrick fitness centre

Fire fighters tackle a blaze at Forest Fitness.
Fire fighters tackle a blaze at Forest Fitness.

The owner of an outdoor fitness centre in Carrick has thanked his clients for support following an arson attack at the weekend.

A large quantity of tyres was set alight at Forest Fitness, at Marshallstown Road, on Saturday evening.

Two crews were tasked from Carrick Fire Station to tackle the blaze.

Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said that the fire was started deliberately. Six trees were also destroyed.

The alarm was raised at 5.05 pm and was brought under control at 5.45 pm.

Lea Vaughan, owner, of Forest Fitness said: “Forest Fitness has helped to change people’s lives through health and fitness in the great outdoors and offers a unique style of exercise that no-one else in Northern Ireland can replicate.

“I’m devastated that this has happened. We have done a lot for the people of Carrickfergus through charity work for our community.”

Lea is a keen fundraiser and Forest Fitness has raised money for a number of charities.

He explained: “There have been bootcamps to raise money for Carrickfergus Colts to fund a trip to Barcelona, Carrickfergus Rangers, local charities and non-profit organisations such as Brainwaves NI, Oxygen Therapy Centre and Action Cancer, at my expense,

“We’ve also brought the Santa experience to the children of Carrick.

“This will not stop me from delivering bespoke bootcamps and personal training, so they will not stop us.”

Lea went on to say that a “fit families bootcamp” was able take place on Sunday as scheduled.

“I had the support of regulars and it ended up being a good day.”