Man responsible for starting biggest blaze in Nottingham's history sentenced

Credit: Nottingham Fire and Rescue Service

A 20-year-old man responsible for one of the largest fires in Nottingham's history has been sentenced on Wednesday.

The blaze which resulted in businesses and cars being burnt to the ground, is known as the Cattle Market blaze of 2018.

George Campbell, from Lamcote Street, The Meadows, pleaded guilty to a charge of arson and was sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court on Tuesday October 26, 2021.

Campbell let off fireworks at the historic Cattle Market site, but one of the rockets he fired went under the shutter of one of the properties - where it ignited.

The fire quickly spread to other industrial units and ripped through the site, significantly damaging nine businesses, and destroying two completely.

The devastating fire broke out at the Meadow Lane site at around 5.40pm on November 4 2018.  

Firefighters used 15 engines and and three aerial platforms to tackle the blaze, and they warned there had been a number of explosions. Credit: Nottingham Fire and Rescue Service

The judge accepted the 20-year-old had no idea he had started a fire by letting off the rocket but his actions were reckless.

Campbell was given an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and must carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

Fire Investigation Manager, Lucie Poxon, said: "After inspecting the scene shortly after the incident occurred it became apparent that the cause of the fire was ignition to combustible items within a business which then spread to various industrial units."

She said she hopes this incident will become a lesson for those using fireworks this year. "It is always better to go to organised firework displays however if you are using fireworks, please ensure you use them away from people, houses and flammable materials."

"Respect those around you this Bonfire Night, and please enjoy fireworks safely," she added.

Credit: Nottingham Fire and Rescue Service

Detective Sergeant Andy Buxton, from Nottinghamshire Police, said: "Campbell admitted at an early stage that he had fired the rocket."

"Although the judge accepted he couldn't have known he had started a fire at that stage, to let off fireworks near wooden and concrete buildings is extremely dangerous and was almost guaranteed to cause serious damage."

Detective Buxton said: "Our priority is to keep people and property safe. Fireworks being used in a dangerous manner will not be tolerated and offenders will be dealt with robustly by police.

"You should never throw or set off a firework in the street, onto a road or in a public place. This could easily lead to serious injury or worse if someone gets hit by one.

"As Bonfire Night draws closer I would urge people to act responsibly, respect their neighbours and make sure they stay safe while enjoying themselves. We will be patrolling and working with partners to tackle any reports of antisocial behaviour and helping to ensure people can enjoy Bonfire Night safely," he added.