Security company monitoring site after blaze

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service has issued a statement on the incident
The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service has issued a statement on the incident

A security company is monitoring the site of a former school in Newtownabbey following a series of arson attacks.

Firefighters were tasked to the former Newtownabbey Community High School site on Saturday evening after a blaze was reported.

One appliance from Glengormley and one from Whitla attended the incident in Rathcoole at around 8.30pm.

Detailing the blaze, a Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) spokesperson said: “Firefighters were called to a fire involving a large quantity of tyres. Firefighters extinguished the fire. The cause of the fire appears to be deliberate. The incident was dealt with at 9.08pm.”

The attack was the latest in a series of recent fires at the site.

Last month the Times reported how ongoing vandalism and arson attacks at the disused school building have forced the Education Authority to fork out almost £300,000 to demolish the property.

In the wake of Saturday’s fire, a spokesperson for the Education Authority said: “In relation to a fire started on the site of Newtownabbey Community High School on Saturday, August 4, a contract for demolition has been awarded, the site has been secured on all perimeters and a security company monitors the area from 6pm to 6am weekdays, with hourly checks at the weekend.

“Daily perimeter checks are also carried out and waste is being regularly removed from the area to reduce the potential for any further fires.”