Page last updated at 12:46 GMT, Friday, 18 July 2008 13:46 UK

Pub blaze treated as suspicious

The building was badly damaged in the fire
The building was badly damaged in the fire

A fire at a pub in Ballyclare, County Antrim, is being treated as suspicious by police.

The Ballyboe Inn was extensively damaged in the blaze, which was reported to the emergency services at about 0230 BST on Friday.

DUP MP for South Antrim, William McCrea, said initial police investigations pointed towards arson.

"I'm led, at this moment, to believe there might be two points where the fire commenced," he said.

Geoff White from the Fire and Rescue Service said their initial priority was to protect nearby buildings.

"Our concerns were about stopping it spreading and the efforts of the crews we were able to do that," he said.

Police have appealed for anyone with information concerning the incident to contact them.

The North End Road has been closed from the Square to the roundabout at the Rashee and Ballyeaston roads.

Fire and Rescue Service Assistant Group Commander Geoff White said the initial priority was to protect nearby buildings.

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