An early morning arson attack in a residential area of Newry could have proved “catastrophic”, police have said.
And detectives are now appealing for witnesses and information.
Detective Sergeant Dougherty said: “Just after 4.40am today, Sunday 30th July, we received a report from our colleagues in Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service of a fire at a residential property in the Stream Street area.
“They confirmed that ignition was deliberate. Extensive damage was caused to the property, and the fire caused a leak in an external gas pipe.
“This was a serious fire, and the gas leak threatened the lives of the residents of the property and their neighbours. Thankfully, they were all evacuated safely, but if our Fire Service colleagues had not acted so swiftly the consequences of this fire could have been catastrophic.
“We are treating this report as arson with intent to endanger life and our enquiries are continuing. We are appealing to anyone with information, or who may have witnessed any suspicious behaviour in the area, to get in touch.
“Please contact us on 101, quoting reference number 427 of 30/07/23.”
You can also make a report online using the non-emergency reporting form via http://www.psni.police.uk/