Man jailed after setting fire to his West Cumbrian home with someone inside

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12 April 2017 1:29PM

A man who started a fire in his rented home in West Cumbria while someone was inside has been jailed.

Karl Carnochan, 34, admitted a charge of arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered after starting the fire at his rented property in Norbeck Park, Cleator Moor, on December 4 last year.

He was sentenced yesterday to 12 months in prison.

The court heard how two electricians working nearby on the morning of December 4 became aware of a large amount of smoke coming from Carnochan’s home.

They climbed over garden fences and saw Carnochan on his knees in the doorway, beside another person.

One of the men lifted the other person out of the doorway to safety before urging Carnochan to move away from the property.

Carnochan went back inside to get some belongings before finally moving a safe distance away.

Police arrested Carnochan on the day of the fire and he said they blaze had started accidentally when he put a cigarette in a bin.

But investigators from Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service found five separate seats of fire inside the house.

In his last interview with police, Carnochan said: "I’m bang to rights".

However, he denied starting the fire with intent to endanger lives.

Detective Constable Hayley Carson of Cumbria Constabulary said: “Carnochan’s decision to start a fire in his own property could easily have had tragic consequences – even if that was not his intention.

“Fires are unpredictable and the situation could have quickly and easily moved beyond Carnochan’s control and put the lives of himself, other members of the public and the emergency services responding, at risk.

“I would like to thank the two men who were first on the scene and were able to act quickly in getting Carnochan to safety before the emergency services arrived at the scene.”

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