Arrest after blaze above charity shop in NI town

Police have praised the 'a quick thinking member of the public' after a blaze ripped through a first floor flat yesterday evening.

Friday, 3rd January 2020, 4:46 pm

The NI Fire and Rescue Service were called at 4.33pm yesterday to Rainey St Magherafelt.

A spokesperson said two appliances from Magherafelt Fire Station and two Appliances from Maghera Fire Station attended the incident.

"Firefighters were called to a fire at a second floor flat on Rainey Street in Magherafelt.

Fire in Magherafelt

"Firefighters used breathing apparatuses and hose reel jets to extinguish the fire," said the spokesperson, adding that the incident was dealt with by 5:37pm.

He added: "The cause of the fire was deliberate ignition."

A PSNI spokesperson said: "Officers were on patrol in Rainey Street car park when a quick thinking member of the public came over and told them they believed a building was on fire in Rainey Street.

"They immediately went to the flat whilst alerting Fire Service.

Fire in Magherafelt

"Believing there may have been someone inside they entered to check the rooms.

"The smoke was too thick to complete a full search, Fire Service promptly arrived and completed the sweep.

"Very pleased to report no one was in the flat. The lads are currently being treated for minor smoke inhalation," said police last night.

"An Investigation has begun to establish the cause of it.

The PSNI added last night: "A male has been arrested for a number of offences in relation to the fire in Rainey Street this evening (January 2).