POLICE have launched an investigation over an arson attack which damaged three houses in south Belfast.
The fire broke out in a three-storey terraced house in Botanic Avenue in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Flames quickly spread damaging roofs to two houses on either side.
The adjoining building is a restaurant and pizzeria, but it is not damaged during the blaze.
A Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said when fire fighters arrived, the properties, which were empty at the time, were well alight.
It is thought the blaze, which was put out shortly before 3am on Wednesday, was started deliberately.
Police and the Fire and Rescue Service are probing the cause of the fire.
Botanic Avenue was closed at University Street on Wednesday morning as investigations continuebut has since reopened.