A man has been sentenced to six years in jail after carrying out an arson attack on an enemy's house after an argument in a nightclub toilet.
31-year-old Stephen Anderson from Barrow-in-Furness pleaded guilty to a charge of arson with intent to endanger life and was sentenced at Preston Crown Court today.
Anderson was involved in an altercation with another man in the toilet area of a Barrow nightclub in the early hours of Sunday 21st June.
Later police enquiries established he had a long-standing personal issue with the other man. After the confrontation he was heard to make a threat along the lines of "I'm going to burn the house down".
Half an hour later two fires were started at a property on Lorne Road in Barrow-in-Furness - the first to a brick outbuilding dangerously close to the house and the second to a wheelie bin deliberately placed against the front door and ignited.
Several children and adults were asleep in the house at the time of the attack. Police say they were fortunate that two passing taxi drivers spotted the smoke from the fire and removed the ignited wheelie bin from the door before alerting and evacuating everyone from the house.
Detective Constable Matt McFall, of Barrow CID, said:
"If the taxi drivers had not intervened and acted so swiftly in removing the wheelie bin and contacting the Fire Service, I have no doubt in my mind that this incident could have resulted in multiple fatalities." "I wish to publicly thank the taxi drivers for their brave actions and quick thinking which cannot be understated. The Fire Service must also be praised for their response time and quickly bringing the fires under control." "Anderson has finally admitted his guilt and the sentence handed out reflects his malicious actions and blatant disregard for the safety of this family whose lives he endangered."