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Fire service welcomes arson conviction after flats fire

Fire officers have welcomed the conviction of a man who started a fire outside flats in Rotherham.

Alex Teasdale, of Meadow Close, Dalton, was sentenced to 46 months in prison and given a 10 year restraining order at Sheffield Crown Court on 5 November after pleading guilty to committing arson recklessly as to whether life would be endangered at the property in Dalton, Rotherham in September 2019.

The fire – which involved household waste – quickly spread to the exterior of the flats, forcing the occupants to evacuate.

Fire cause investigators quickly identified arson as the most probably cause of the fire and CCTV footage was used to help bring about the conviction.

Area Manager Cath Toovey, said: “Arson is a terrible crime with the real potential to endanger life. People starting fires do get caught and they do get prosecuted, as this case clearly illustrates.”

DC Dawn Murray, from South Yorkshire Police, added: “This was an extremely distressing ordeal for the residents of these flats and could very easily have ended with tragic consequences. I’m pleased our partnership work with South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue has resulted in this sentence, which serves as a strong message to others that arson is not tolerated in our communities.”

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue has launched a new service where people can anonymously report people starting fires in their area. To report arson, call Firestoppers on 0800 169 5558.

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This content was last updated on November 12th, 2021