herald

Saturday 23 September 2017

Fears arsonist on the loose in city after two attacks on family cars

One of the fire-ravaged cars in Tomar Court Picture: Collins
One of the fire-ravaged cars in Tomar Court Picture: Collins

GardaI fear an arsonist may be on the loose in the north of the capital after four cars were burnt-out a short distance from each other.

Investigators are keeping an open mind on the fires, but are investigating if the incidents are linked.

At around 5am on Wednesday, two cars were destroyed by fire at Tomar Court, close to Arbour Hill.

One car went up and the second caught fire when flames from the first one spread to it.

At around 4am yesterday, another two cars went up in flames not far from the first incident, in St Joseph's Court, a cul-de-sac also in Dublin 7.

Baffled

Both incidents had similarities, with the cars being parked close together in small, quiet streets and the fire starting in one vehicle and spreading to the other.

In both cases the blazes happened in the early hours of the morning and all the cars belonged to people who are baffled as to why their vehicles were targeted.

None of the cars were new or particularly valuable.

Damage was also caused to the homes of the car owners by the heat and flames.

"This is very worrying. We had only read the report on Independent.ie about the fires at Tomar Court and within a few hours our car was on fire and we were running to the back of the house," said the owner of a 2008-registered car gutted in St Joseph's Court.

"We were woken by bangs and saw the flames and when we looked out our car and the one beside it were burning."

The family living next door lost a 2000-registered vehicle.

"We heard the noises and looked out and saw the car on fire and within seconds our neighbour's car was burning too," said the owner.

Coincidence

The owner of a 2004 Audi that was destroyed on Wednesday morning told the Herald he fears it was targeted by vandals and that yesterday's incident only strengthens those fears.

"It's too much of a coincidence and the amount of trouble and hassle it causes is awful," the man said.

"We have been going through things with insurance com-panies and the gardai and there are things you don't think of, like calling out utility and service companies for electricity and phones and broadband."

Gardai have told all the car owners that the fires will be investigated as criminal damage incidents.

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