Police are treating the circumstances surrounding a fire at a vacant property in Gilford on Wednesday, July 15, as suspicious.
Councillor Glenn Barr said a more serious incident was averted by the quick actions of a neighbour who raised the alarm in the dead of night.
“This could have been a complete tragedy but for a vigilant man who spotted the smoke bellowing out of upstairs windows at around 4.30am and alerted local residents and the NIFRS,” he said.
The property in Hill Street was badly damaged in the fire, believed to have been started by the burning of a settee in the living room.
Cllr Barr said: “I called round to inspect the vacant property and the smell of ash was strong even outside. I urge anyone with any information on the arson to contact the PSNI on 101 and I would also like to issue a personal thank you to the unknown man who diverted the tragedy.”
He added: “I would like to meet this man to personally thank him on behalf of local residents and I would ask that if you are this person or know who the person is to get in touch with me please, though I understand if he wishes to remain anonymous. If this is the case I thank you.”
Anyone who can assist the police investigation is asked to contact them in Banbridge on 101, quoting ref: 144 150715.