Published: Monday, May 13, 2013

Drug addict jailed for starting fire on balcony to cook bacon

Malcolm Storey, 48, started a midnight fire on the 13th floor of Grant Thornton Street in Hull on July 10 last year. Photo: Mail Online

Malcolm Storey, 48, started a midnight fire on the 13th floor of Grant Thornton Street in Hull on July 10 last year. Photo: Mail Online

A drug addict who started a fire on the 13th floor of a Hull tower block so he could cook bacon and eggs has been jailed for four months.

Malcolm Storey, 48, returned to Great Thornton Street with two friends for a midnight fry up.

He chopped up a bedroom door for firewood and made a two foot-tall barbeque on the balcony on July 10 last year.

Jobless Storey concocted the plan because he was hungry and wanted a barbeque.

He had run out of electricity at the 14-storey block of flats, which is home to around 350 people.

Firemen arrived wearing breathing apparatus to find Storey with a pan with bacon and eggs next to the burning embers.

Storey claimed he was just trying to keep warm.

He thanked fire crew before running off.

The flat belonged to a friend who was in prison.

Storey appeared in custody at Hull Crown Court after pleading guilty to a charge of arson and being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

Eyewitness Kaylie Huntley, pictured, who lives in the tower block, grabbed a bucket of water in an attempt to put the fire out

The court heard Storey has 97 previous convictions.

Judge John Dowse said: ‘It only takes a couple of minutes to think of the danger this could have caused to a block of flats. Fire can spread up as well as down.’

Eyewitness Anya Gibbon spotted the fire from her home on the the 14th floor above the flat and dialed 999.

She said: ‘I heard a man crashing about on the balcony chopping up wood. After about 15 or 20 minutes I saw smoke coming up from a fire.’

Another eyewitness Kaylie Huntley, 22, said: ‘I was in bed when I heard the fireman coming into the flat. I said to Malcolm: ‘What are you doing?’ He said: ‘To be honest, I didn’t think.”

‘All I thought of was he was cooking drugs. It was starting to spread to Colin’s balcony next door and he would never have got out. I went out and grabbed a bucket of water and put it out.’

Defending barrister John Thackray said: ‘It was a stupid decision to have a barbecue. It was quickly put out. He was high on something. He has been taking drugs for 20 years.’

Judge Dowse said: ‘I suspect you were high on drink or drugs at the time of this offence. You are a man now with 97 previous convictions, who has had opportunities in the past and never taken them. It is quite likely we will see you back before the courts in the not too distant future.’

Storey was released immediately because he had served time waiting in prison since January this year.