24/01/2006

Arson attack could have caused major explosion

The Fire Service has today said that an office block could have exploded when it filled with gas following an arson attack.

More than 30 homes had to be evacuated for several hours after smoke was seen coming from the office building at Lomond Avenue, off the Holywood Road at around 10pm last night.

It is believed that bins at the rear of the building had been set alight and had burned through a gas pipe.

When fire crews entered the building they discovered it had filled with gas and ordered an immediate evacuation of local residents.

The alert lasted for several hours and people were allowed to return to their homes in the early hours of the morning.

Meanwhile, in Bangor, there was a separate gas leak.

It is understood that a pipe was ruptured in the Linneybrooke Lane area of the town.

A number of people were moved from their houses, but it was later repaired and residents were allowed to return to their homes.

(EF/SP)

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