Cllr Fitzpatrick said: “Even though this building was abandoned, a fire like this could still have cost people their lives.
“If this fire was started on purpose then we must get to the bottom of this. A strong message must be sent out that this sort of thing is totally unacceptable. There is no such thing as a harmless fire.
“We have had a couple of fires in recent years in Coleraine where the fumes have been toxic but thankfully the concerns that the roof may contain asbestos turned out to be incorrect.
“I would like to extend my thanks to the brave fire fighters and urge anybody with any information on the incident to contact the police.”