Car repair

Nine vehicles damaged by fire at a car repair business in Ballymena

Nine vehicles were destroyed in an overnight arson attack on an industrial estate in County Antrim.

The incident happened in the Pennybridge industrial estate in Ballymena in the early hours of Wednesday.

It is understood that nine vehicles from a car repair business were damaged in the fire, which was reported to police shortly after 2am.

Read more: Primark fire: three companies to be sued after city center blaze

The PSNI said officers wanted to hear from witnesses or anyone with footage of the area at the time to contact them.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said two devices from Ballymena Fire Station were involved in the operation.

Firefighters equipped with breathing apparatus extinguished the fire and prevented it from spreading to nearby buildings.

A NIFRS spokesperson said: “Two fire apparatus from Ballymena Station attended an incident involving several burning cars in the Pennybridge Industrial Estate at 2.10am this morning.

“Crews extinguished the fire and prevented its spread to nearby buildings using breathing apparatus, two hose reel jets and a main jet.”

SDLP councilor Eugene Reid condemned the incident outside a local business, saying: ‘It caused massive damage to a number of vehicles and given the scale of the fire criminal and the fact that it took place in a built-up area, we are lucky that this fire did not spread and no one was seriously injured or worse.

“At a time when people are already struggling, this senseless damage will have a huge impact on this business and the owners of these vehicles.

Nine company vehicles were damaged in the fire which was reported to police shortly after 2am.

“It is devastating news for them to wake up to today and I hope those affected can recover quickly from this setback.

“I would like to thank the fire department for their efforts to quickly and safely extinguish this fire and would ask anyone who knows anything about what happened here to come forward and assist the police in their investigation.”

DUP MLA for North Antrim Paul Frew added: “Thanking for the professionalism and speed of the fire and rescue service last night at the scene of the fire at Pennybridge Industrial Estate.

“While the fire undoubtedly brings destruction and devastation, we can be grateful for their efforts that the fire did not spread to nearby properties and businesses.

“The PSNI are currently at the scene and we hope that a full and thorough investigation by the PSNI and NIFRS can now take place.”

A PSNI spokesman said: “Investigators wish to hear from witnesses or anyone with information or anyone who may have captured dash cam footage in and around the area at this time. Please call 101, quoting reference 126 08/06/22.”

Read more: ‘Deliberately’ burnt bin outside North Down flats

Read more: A 40-year-old biker killed in an accident in Magherafelt

To get the latest news straight to your inbox, sign up for our free newsletter.