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Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 20 March, 2019
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Police now suspect arson in fire that killed 91-year-old man in Co Down

They have arrested a 57-year-old woman on suspicion of manslaughter.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

POLICE INVESTIGATING THE death of 91-year-old Samuel Carson now suspect the fire that killed him was set deliberately.

Carson died in the early hours of Tuesday after being rescued from his home in Carryduff, Co Down, where a fire had spread from a nearby property after midnight on Monday.

Emergency services were called to the scene on the Hillsborough Road, after the blaze spread quickly from a domestic garage and oil tank at Thorndale Park in the town.

Firefighters managed to rescue Carson from his home and administered CPR, but he died at the scene, a Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) spokesperson told UTV.

Police had not initially believed the cause of the fire was suspicious, but a statement this morning said it was now being treated as suspected arson.

PSNI Detective Chief Inspector Justyn Galloway said:

Detectives investigating the circumstances of the fire have come into possession of new information which has led to the arrest of a 57-year-old woman on suspicion of manslaughter.

Tributes have been pouring in for Carson, who lived alone in the bungalow on the Hillsborough Road.

Friend and neighbour Samuel McFarlane told UTV:

I knew him all my life. He was always a very nice man, very pleasant to speak to, had lots of friends and neighbours here.

Local pastor Gordon Walker said the 91-year-old was beloved and respected in the community:

The family are simply stunned by this and are trying to come to terms with the reality of what has happened here out of the blue.

Read: Man arrested on suspicion of petrol bomb attack on a house where children were inside>

Three men arrested in connection with suspected Drogheda arson>

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Dan MacGuill

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