A Derry mother was last night anxiously awaiting a transfer to emergency accommodation following a suspected arson attack at her Shantallow home as she and four children slept upstairs.
Lisa Scarlett yesterday told the Housing Executive and Habinteg Housing that she was now too frightened to stay in her Liscloon Drive home after a garden shed, located next to an oil tank, was set on fire.
Ms. Scarlett (28) said she was awoken shortly after 6 am on Saturday as police officers entered her home and ran upstairs and told her there was a fire, before going to get the children out of the house.
Her three children, Lea (8), Caidenn (2) and Cealach (1), along with Lisa’s five-year-old nephew Dylan, who was staying over, were all asleep in the house at the time.
Lisa said: “ We were told we were really lucky to get out when we did. Any longer and it would have caught the oil tank and it would have been ten times worse. I can’t believe people would do that, knowing I have wains in this house.”
The shed that was gutted in the blaze contained the children’s outdoor toys.
She added: “I am waiting now to hear back from the Housing Executive. I am half packed and we just can’t stay here. Lea last night didn’t want to stay in her own room. She kept talking about it.”
Lisa said she now had no option but to leave the home she has just redecorated.
She also paid tribute to family, friends and the wider community for the influx of messages of support and offers of assistance she has received over the past few days.
Sinn Fein Councillor Sandra Duffy said after visiting Lisa: “This was shocking and very upsetting for Lisa and the children and it will take them a while to recover.”
SDLP Councillor Brian Tierney and the PSNI have called on anyone who saw anything suspicious to phone 101.