A cruel arson attack in Craigavon has left a disabled pensioner without transport.
Michael Kingham, aged 70, from Rosmoyle, was wakened in the early hours of Sunday morning by his pet Yorkshire Terrier.
“I was asleep and my wee dog was going ballistic and woke me up. I looked out and could see flames outside the house,” he said.
Mr Kingham, who has suffered three strokes over recent years, said the incident happened at around 12.45am.
He owns a special people carrier which is automatic and suitable for his disability and a Ford Focus. Both were completely gutted in the blaze.
The NI Fire and Rescue Service were dealing with the fire at Mr Kingham’s home when they were called to another blaze at his neighbour’s shed.
Mr Kingham said his neighbour’s shed which housed three motorbikes was completely destroyed. He said the NIFRS were unable to tackle the shed fire initially as there were concerns a gas cylinder may be in the shed.
“I waited for four years for that car. It is automatic and has easy access for me,” he explained. “Now I am left without transport.
“But I could have lost my life. I was sleeping just beside where it happened with the window open,” he said.
The fire was started right beside his oil tank and he said he was lucky that it did not go up in the blaze. He feared several thousand pounds worth of damage has been done.
“You could not salvage as much as a light switch from the people carrier and the Ford Focus will be totally written off as well,” said the pensioner.
He added that earlier on Saturday evening there had been a few people drinking and arguing in the area.
Mr Kingham said police arrived in quad bikes between 7pm and 8pm on Saturday and he had thought that was the trouble over.
He said he believed that around 10 cars had been burnt out in the past four months in the Rosmoyle area and feared an arsonist was living in their midst.
A PSNI spokesperson said they are appealing for information after a shed and vehicle were damaged by fire.
“At 12.38am on Sunday, 15 May, police received a report of a shed at the rear of a house in Rosmoyle on fire. NIFRS and police attended.
“A short time later at 2.10am police received a report of a car on fire in the rear garden of another house in Rosmoyle. NIFRS and police attended. Three cars were damaged during this incident.
“Police are treating the fires as suspicious and would like to hear from anyone who has information that may help their investigation.”