Staff praised after suspected homeless shelter arson attack

The fire happened at the Simon Community on Bond's Hill.

The fire happened at the Simon Community on Bond's Hill.

  • Praise for staff who made sure everyone is safe
  • Fire Brigade also commended for professionalism
  • Man remains in custody over suspected arson attack
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Staff at a shelter for homeless people in Derry have been praised for their quick action in evacuating residents after a suspected arson attack this morning.

A man remains in custody and is being questioned in connection with the fire in the early hours on Wednesday.

We would like to commend our staff for their prompt action.

Simon Community spokeswoman

He was arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life.

Fire-fighters, who had to use a water jet to help bring a fire at the Simon Community building in Derry under control in the early hours of Wednesday, were also praised today for their professionalism and quick response.

The alarm was raised at 2.21am and the first fire appliance arrived at the premises on Bonds Hill within minutes and staff managed to get everyone out of the building unhurt.

The fire originated in a first floor apartment.

Simon Community Northern Ireland today praised their staff in Derry for their swift action.

A spokeswoman for the homeless charity said: “We can confirm that a fire occurred at our Bond’s Hill project in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

“Thankfully, all service users and staff are safe and we would like to commend our staff for their prompt action.

“We would also like to extend our thanks to the Fire Service for their professionalism and the speed with which they were able to control the situation.”

She added: A thorough investigation as to the cause of the fire is currently in progress”.

Sinn Fein Waterside Councillor Christopher Jackson also praised the Fire Brigade personnel and staff from the Simon Community for helping to ensure no-one came to any harm in the fire.

The Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service said four appliances from Northland Road and Crescent Link were deployed to help put it out.

A mobile command unit from Strabane was also tasked to the scene, and the water jet was used alongside the normal hosiery jet.

Six fire-fighters used breathing apparatus at the scene.

The fire was reported extinguished by 2.56am.

A PSNI spokesman confirmed to the Journal today: “A man in his 40s has been arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life following an incident at Bond’s Hill in the Waterside.

“Fire Control informed police of the blaze at 2.25am.

“The man remains in custody.”