Residents evacuated after suspected gas leak during Carrick fire attack

The scene of a fire which took place after a wheelie bin was set alight and placed against the shutters of a business and residential premises in the Market Place area of Carrickfergus.''Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
The scene of a fire which took place after a wheelie bin was set alight and placed against the shutters of a business and residential premises in the Market Place area of Carrickfergus.''Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

Two people had to be evacuated from flats above a shop after a deliberate fire in Carrickfergus this morning (Monday).

Police attended the incident in the Cheston Street/Market Place area of the town in the early hours.

The scene of a fire which took place after a wheelie bin was set alight and placed against the shutters of a business and residential premises in the Market Place area of Carrickfergus.''Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

The scene of a fire which took place after a wheelie bin was set alight and placed against the shutters of a business and residential premises in the Market Place area of Carrickfergus.''Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

Sergeant Stephen Mellon said: “At around 2.50am today, colleagues from NIFRS asked for police assistance at the scene of this fire. Police found a lit wheelie bin pushed up against the shutter of the shop.

“The area was cordoned off and police evacuated two residents from flats above the shop because of a suspected gas leak. No-one was injured in the incident and residents have now been allowed to return to their homes. The fire is being treated as deliberate at this time.

“We would be keen to hear from anyone who saw a male in a grey hoodie, who was reported to be in the area just before the fire started.”

Anyone who witnessed anything suspicious in the area is asked to contact police on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 163 of 11/6/18.

Alternatively, information be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.