Councillor Patrick Clarke said: “I wish to strongly condemn the recent arson attack and pouring of flammable liquid through the letterbox of a pensioner’s residence in Ballaghbeg Park in Newcastle last Thursday 19th.
“Very fortunately a smoke alarm alerted the pensioner who was able to put out the fire at her front door and then alert emergency services.
“There is no doubt we could have been dealing with a much worse situation had there been no smoke alarm to warn and indeed save this pensioner’s life. This incident again shows the importance of having a working smoke alarm in your home.
“I have to question the sickening and indeed very depressing actions of the people who poured a flammable liquid in the early hours of the morning through a pensioner’s letterbox causing distress and danger.
“The perpetrators need to be caught and brought before the courts in order to be prosecuted and jailed for such a criminal act on a vulnerable lady in her eighties.
“I would strongly appeal to anyone with information on this arson attack to contact the PSNI so that these people can be arrested and removed from society.”