POLICE investigating a house fire in Strabane have arrested a 20-year-old man on suspicion of arson. A mother, her 10-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter were hospitalised after the fire at their home in the Springhill Park shortly before 9am on Saturday morning.
The family managed to escape the bungalow after being alerted to the blaze by a smoke alarm. Local fire crews were quickly on the scene, with the woman and her two children taken to Altnagelvin Hospital to be treated for the effects of smoke inhalation.
A 20-year-old man from the Strabane area was arrested later on Saturday. Yesterday (Sunday) a police spokesperson confirmed the man was still being held in connection with a suspected case of arson relating to the Springhill incident. Speaking after the blaze, Paddy Quinn of the Fire and Rescue Service revealed that the house was all alight when crews arrived on the scene. Describing the spread of the fire as “rapid” and “a very intense heat within the house”, he said the smoke alarm allowed the family to make their escape in time. “The fire spread rapidly and without the working smoke alarm, the consequences could have been severe,” he said.