The cause of a fire that caused extensive damage to a commercial building at Hillman’s Fancy in Coleraine on Friday night is being treated as deliberate.
Around fifty fire fighters from Coleraine, Ballymoney, Portrush, Portstewart and Kilrea stations battled the blaze at the car workshop for four hours to prevent it from spreading to a neighbouring oil depot.
On Monday, a spokesperson for the NI Fire and Rescue Service confirmed that they were treating the fire as deliberate.
“The cause of the fire is being treated as deliberate, and the incident has been passed through to the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
“Fire investigators have been unable to carry out a thorough investigation of the premises, as the property is unstable, but based on initial evidence multiple seats of fire were recorded at the premises.”
The fire at the building, that incorporates a car repair workshop, engineering works and car wash was reported at just after 10.30pm on Friday night.
At the height of the blaze, eight fire engines and a specialist Command Support Unit were in attendance.
David Hayburn, group commander with the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The first attending crews found a very well developed fire which affected two of the units, a car body repair and vehicle repair workshops. These were well alight with the fire breaking through the roof.
“During the fire it was threatening a third unit there and work by the crews managed to stop that. At the end of the four-hour operation the first two units were completely destroyed.”