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  1. ITV Report

Chip shop arsonist who set himself on fire is sent to prison

Filek can be seen running from the scene as a small ball of fire Credit: North Yorkshire Police

An arsonist has been jailed for five years and eight months after CCTV footage captured the moment he caught fire and fled across the main road after torching a chip shop in North Yorkshire.

Lubos Filek, 40, caused more than £100,000 of damage to Abbey Fisheries in Selby. Emergency services were called to the shop in Gowthorpe at 3.50am on 21 March 2019 after members of the public reported the blaze.

As fire rapidly spread through the building, Filek ran away. However, flames ignited his clothes and he suffered burns to his hands and body.

Filek discarded some items of clothing in an alleyway nearby. They were still smouldering when officers found them.

  • WATCH: The CCTV was posted on North Yorkshire Police's Facebook page

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  • Speaking after the hearing, Detective Constable Peter Smith who led the investigation by York CID, said:

The huge blaze started by Filek could have caused untold damage to innocent people and neighbouring buildings. It’s surprising nobody was seriously hurt or killed.

The fire spread very quickly – so quickly in fact that it appears to have caught Filek totally by surprise as he ignited himself along with the building.

Thankfully, we were able to identify and track down this offender very quickly and we’re grateful for information provided to us by members of the Selby community.

Filek never explained why he did it or gave any reason for his actions, but that didn’t stop us building a case against him that has resulted in a significant prison sentence today. North Yorkshire is safer when criminals like him are behind bars.

– Detective Constable Peter Smith, York CID