THERE have been fresh calls for the marauding gangs behind a wave of arson attacks across the Antrim area to desist before lives are lost.
Recent months have seen a shocking surge in malicious fires - many of them in the early hours of the morning while families slept inside.
Late last Wednesday night a car was torched in Antrim, and while police were investigating that there were summoned to another emergency - and another fire - this time in Templepatrick.
The blaze was started at residential premises in the Templeton Park area.
And Detective Sergeant Coulter revealed that the occupants were left in serious peril.
“Shortly after 1.30am, it was reported that a wheelie bin and tyres were placed at the front door of a house and set alight,” he said.
“A male and female inside the property had to exit through the living room window as a result of the incident.
“A car parked in the area was also set alight.
“Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service attended the scene and extinguished the fires.
“Both the front door and the car were badly damaged as a result of the incident.
“We are appealing to anyone with any information regarding this incident to contact detectives in Antrim on 101 quoting reference number 60 13/9/18.”
And while the police are not publicly linking the attacks, Mayor Paul Michael said the fires shared a ‘shocking contempt’ for lives.
“We all know that fires can kill, so I condemn both these incidents unreservedly.
“There can be absolutely no justification for deliberately starting a fire outside someone’s home in the dead of night.
“We have seen tragedies in this area before. No-one wants to see another.
“This madness has to end.”