‘Fire Service saved my business’ - arson victim

The scene of an arson attack on Saturday evening. (2509PG118)
The scene of an arson attack on Saturday evening. (2509PG118)

Police in Derry say they believe a fire in which a 47 years-old man had to be rescued by the local Fire Service may have been started deliberately.

The man who was trapped in the fourth floor of the burning building on Carlisle Road was one of a number of people injured in the fire.

The residential premises above shops in Carlisle Road were extensively damaged in the fire but the ground floor retail unit will reopen today for business.

The fire drama began above Honey Hair and Beauty, Carlisle Road at 6pm on Saturday. Two residents were trapped in the four storey building by the flames.

One male aged 29 escaped when he jumped from a first floor window however a second male, aged 47, was trapped on the fourth floor. The blaze began, according to a Fire Service spokesperson: “in the first floor store room of the four storey mid-terrace multi-occupancy building.

“Smoke alarms had sounded in the building alerting residents.”

The 47 year old suffered slight smoke inhalation while the other man was treated for cuts and bruises.

Business woman, Margaret Johnston, who owns Honey Hair, said: “I finished work on Saturday as normal but I got a call to say the salon was on fire. I jumped in the car heart racing and got over as quick as I could. Thankfully no one was hurt and the damage to the salon was minimal. There is some work being done now but we will be open again as usual on Tuesday (today). “

Ms. Johnston has had an eventful seven months since opening the business. She previously had her car was stolen from Carlisle Road and the premises have been burgled.

“Thankfully no one died,” she said. “We can’t thank the Fire Service enough for their prompt actions, they saved my business.”

Strand Road police have appealed for information following the suspicious fire. Anyone who witnessed the incident or any suspicious activity in the area can contact them at Strand Road on 0845 600 8000, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.