Firefighter assaulted while tackling blaze

A FIREFIGHTER was punched on the face while tackling a blaze at a butcher’s shop in Waringstown, it has emerged.

The fire, which happened to the rear of Trader D’s Butchers at Terrace View, broke out shortly before 12.30am on Saturday (February 18).

It’s believed a pile of rubbish had been deliberately set on fire, with smoke spreading into the shop and adjoining flats.

While dealing with the incident, a fire fighter sustained minor injuries when assaulted by a youth.

A 24-year-old man was arrested a short time later in the village and has since been released on police bail pending further enquiries.

Victor Spence, Portadown District Commander of Northern Ireland Fire Service, described the attack as “disappointing”.

“Although this was an isolated incident, I am disappointed and concerned that local Firefighters, who were only out doing their job and protecting our community, should be attacked in such a manner,” he said.

“Firefighters are part of the community and they work tirelessly to protect the local community.” DUP councillor Carla Lockhart condemned the incident, describing it as “alarming”.

She said: “This has been a problem area with anti-social behaviour and I, along with Alderman Stephen Moutray MLA, have been working with the PSNI, other statutory authorities, and residents in the area to try and eradicate this behaviour.

“This type of activity is not acceptable and certainly this most recent fire had the potential to do serious damage to businesses in the area.”

Anyone with any information about the incident is asked to contact CID at Mahon Road on 0845 600 8000.

Or, if you would prefer anonymity, you can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.