Police investigating Institute FC arson attack

Fire.
Fire.

The PSNI are hunting arsonists who torched changing rooms at Insitute FC's Riverside Stadium on Friday evening, it's been confirmed.

Police at Strand Road have said they are investigating the blaze, which was ignited at approximately 9.45pm, and caused extensive damage.

Inspector Louise Cummings said: “Police are treating this fire as suspicious at this time and I would appeal to anyone who noticed any suspicious activity in the area to contact Police at Strand Road on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 1407 22/06/18.

"Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”

The attack has been condemned by Sinn Féin Foyle MP Elisha McCallion.

“This is a disgraceful attack on the community. Institute FC have had enough to deal with over the past year without this suspected arson attack at their grounds.”

“I would urge anyone with information in relation to this attack to contact the police,” she said.

Fifteen firefighters were required to bring a fire at Institute's disused Riverside Stadium.

The blaze started at an oil tank near the changing rooms behind the 'Billy Kee Stand.'

William Johnston of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said: "Three fire appliances from Crescent Link and Northland and one aerial platform, high-reach appliance and 15 firefighters were involved.

"Crews used breathing apparatus and jets to control and extinguish the fire.

"The incident finished around ten o' clock and the cause was determined as deliberate."

Institute chairman Bill Anderson said: "Obviously, I do feel that sense of sadness and I know that people have a big connection with the grounds, our supporters and everybody associated with the club, will be very sad.

"But I think that for us, it's another indication of the need to move forward as quickly as we can."