Alex Teasdale, aged 28, of Meadow Close, Dalton, was jailed for 46 months and given a 10 year restraining order at Sheffield Crown Court after pleading guilty to committing arson recklessly as to whether life would be endangered back in September 2019.
He started a blaze, which involved household waste, outside a neighbour’s flat and it quickly spread – forcing others in the block to evacuate.
Sheffield Crown Court heard Teasdale was under the influence of alcohol at the time and claims not to remember what happened or why.
South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue 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.”
Jailing Teasdale, Judge David Dixon, said: “There were multiple people endangered and, indeed, this was a matter which had the potential to be extremely serious.”
Damage to the block of flats, owned by Rotherham Borough Council, was valued at £1,680.60. Windows, guttering, a gas pipe and fencing were affected by the blaze.