Off duty fireman saved man after he set curtains alight

Andrew Maltby, from Newmarket, admitted theft and assault at Ipswich Crown Court.

Mandeep Brar admitted arson at his flat in Haverhill. - Credit: Archant

A 37-year-old Suffolk man who set fire to curtains in his flat after barricading the door has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Mandeep Brar was rescued from the flat in a multi occupancy house by an off duty fireman who broke down the door, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Brar admitted arson at the property in Withersfield Road In Haverhill on August 10 2019 and was given an eight month prison sentence suspended for two years and a 50 day rehabilitation activity requirement.

He was also ordered to pay £250 costs.

Joe Bird, prosecuting, said Brar lived in a ground floor at the property and two other residents were in the premises at the time of the fire, which was started in the early hours of the morning.

Mr Bird said it was fortunate that a neighbour was an off duty fire officer who went to Brar’s flat after his wife saw it was alight.

The court heard that Braar, who appeared “eerily calm”, was seen sitting with his back to the window.

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The off duty fireman broke down the door to gain entry to the flat and got him out and the other residents of the property left the building after being alerted by the fire alarm.

The fire service attended and put out the fire and Brar was taken to hospital and later arrested.

Mr Bird said that an estimate of the damage caused by the fire was £500.

He said there was significant damage around the window where the fire was started and smoke had spread to other parts of the building.

The court heard that Brar had 41 previous convictions and told police people had been trying to get into his flat to kidnap him.

Mr Bird dismissed that suggestion and said Brar had been unhappy about his accommodation and wanted to be moved somewhere else.

Lynn Shirley for Brar said the case was nearly three years old.

She said Brar needed help with his alcohol use and was keen to move forward with his life after the conclusion of the court case.