A DONEGALL Road business was targeted on Sunday night in a racist arson attack resulting in two flats above the premises having to be evacuated.
The 'Family Market' grocers was set on fire in a deliberate and racially motivated attack. Located on the Donegall Road the business sells Mediterranean and Asian groceries as well as meat, fruit and vegetables.
No-one was injured during the attack, although resident in flats above the premises had to be rescued.
Investigators with the Fire Service said the fire was started deliberately and police are now treating the attack as a racially motivated hate crime.
The shutters of the shop were recently targeted with racist graffiti which police are also investigating.
Detective Sergeant Ash from the PSNI said: “Police received a report that a fire had broken out at a business premises on the Donegall Road at 9.25pm.
“Residents from two flats, located above the business, had to be evacuated at the time and thankfully were not injured and we are extremely grateful for the quick actions of our officers and response from the Fire Service.
“Our colleagues from the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service have since confirmed that the fire was started deliberately and as such we are treating this as arson with intent to endanger life.”
Detective Sergeant Ash continued: “This is the fourth incident at the premises in a fortnight as shutters to the business had also been spray-painted with racist graffiti which we are treating as a race-motivated hate crime.
“Our investigation is underway and we are appealing to anyone who was in the area at the time the attack took place or may have captured dashcam or mobile phone footage to contact us on 101 quoting reference number 1623 17/09/23.”
Alternatively, you can submit a report online using the non-emergency reporting form via http://www.psni.police.uk/makeareport. You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at http://crimestoppers-uk.org/