A FIRE has ravaged two businesses in Moira after a bin was set on fire at the back of the Main Street premises.
Police on patrol in the village noticed the fire just before 11.30pm last Wednesday evening.
It was reported that a bin had been set on fire at the back of a compound. The fire then spread to Belle’s Coffee Shop, which was severely damaged as an oil tank was involved. However, since the incident Belle’s Coffee Shop is now operating as usual. Smoke damage was also caused to Lynn Drake & Co Chartered Accountants next door.
Five fire appliances attended the fire, which was well developed by the time the crews arrived, including two from Lurgan, two from Lisburn and one from Dromore, as well as a Command Support Unit and a hydraulic platform from Portadown Fire Station.
The fire crews battled the fire until after 2am and last Thursday morning.
A spokesperson for the Fire and Rescue Service said last week that the cause of the fire was still being investigated but it is thought it was started deliberately.
The incident was strongly condemned by Killultagh Councillor Jim Dillon, who said he hoped this wasn’t a Halloween prank gone wrong.
“This is a scandalous situation,” said Mr Dillon. “This is the first time such a thing has happened in Moira and I sincerely hope it will be the last.
“I sympathise with the business people who have had their premises damaged,” he continued. “This is a dreadful situation and it is something that should not have happened. I just hope this wasn’t some sort of Halloween prank that went wrong.”
Mr Dillon urged anyone with information about the incident to contact the police. “If anyone knows anything about what happened in Moira, I would ask them to contact the PSNI immediately. Or they can contact me and I will act as an intermediary,” he added.
Anyone with information can contact the police on 0845 600 8000. Alternatively information can be passed anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.