Man who had to be rescued from home after fire jailed for arson

Alistair Mckenzie who has been jailed after admitting arson in Wymondham.

Alistair Mckenzie who has been jailed after admitting arson in Wymondham. - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

A man who had to be rescued from a property by firefighters started the fire himself, it has emerged.

Alistair McKenzie, 55, had to be taken to hospital after he was rescued following a house fire in Wymondham.

But he put neighbours "at serious risk of harm" after starting the blaze at a the property in Poppy Street, just before 6.45am on November 27 2019.

A man was taken to hospital after the fire at Poppy Street in Wymondham. Pic: Emily Thomson.

Alistair McKenzie was taken to hospital following a fire at a property in Poppy Street, Wymondham in November 2019. - Credit: Archant

Firefighters from Hethersett, Wymondham and Earlham were called to help tackle the fire before it spread to other buildings.

Mckenzie, who has mental health difficulties, was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital by ambulance after suffering smoke inhalation.

A man was taken to hospital after the fire at Poppy Street in Wymondham. Pic: Emily Thomson.

Alistair Mckenzie was taken to hospital after a fire at a property in Wymondham in 2019. - Credit: Archant

Last week McKenzie, of Enfield Row, Wymondham was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison after being convicted of arson with intent to endanger life.

Speaking after the sentencing at Norwich Crown Court, DC Stuart Sansbury said: "At a very low moment, Mr McKenzie recklessly caused a fire within his ground floor flat in Wymondham that left him critically ill and also put the lives of other residents at serious risk of harm. 

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"I am grateful no-one else was injured. 

"This was a very serious offence and this sentence ought to serve as a reminder to anybody else who is contemplating, either deliberately or recklessly, committing arson.  

"I hope Mr McKenzie receives the continued support and help that he needs to assist him in moving forward positively.”

The sentencing was adjourned from April this year so a psychiatric report could be prepared before McKenzie was sentenced.

Speaking after the time of the fire, in November 2019, neighbours described how they vowed to rally round to help the man.

One neighbour said: "As a community we will support him to get back on his feet after this severe incident.

"He is a lovely guy who is always helping others, so we will all support him and make sure he is okay. We have already started talking about fundraising."

Another neighbour said: "We woke up just before 7am because of the noise and we saw loads of firefighters and there was some smoke. "We hope he is all right he seems like a nice guy."

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