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Man jailed after fire destroys four homes and kills dog
3:00pm Friday 13th September 2013 in Echo News
A MAN has been jailed for five years for staring a fire that burnt down four houses and left a dog dead.
Danny Fisher, 30, of no fixed address, started the fire in anger after seeing his ex-girlfriend with her new boyfriend.
Fisher caused the blaze by setting fire to a motorbike in London Road, Grays, which belonged to his love rival’s mother.
The blaze then spread to the other houses next door, causing around £210,000 of damage.
Fisher pleaded guilty to arson with intent to endanger life and criminal damage and was jailed for five years at Basildon Crown Court yesterday.
The court heard Fisher had visited his ex-partner, Melissa Smith, at her home in Parsonage Road, Grays in the early hours of Saturday, March 2.
Fisher, who had dated Miss Smith from May 2011 to January 2013, was angry at her new relationship with Matthew Kosti, 24, and went to her flat to confront her shortly before 2am.
He called Miss Smith a ‘mongrel’ and ordered she make Mr Kosti, who was in the other room with a friend, leave.
When he failed to do this he said “watch what happens, you’ll see” and “I will go and burn his house down”.
He left the house and Miss Smith called the police.
A little while later Fisher set fire to a motorbike, owned by Mr Kosti’s mother, at her home in London Road, Grays.
Charlotte Davidson, prosecuting, said Mrs Kosti spotted the fire taking hold and tried to phone for help, but her line was dead.
The front windows of the house then blew out because of the heat with the living room curtains then catching fire.
Fortunately a police officer spotted the fire while responding to Miss Smith’s phone call.
He was able to get Mrs Kosti out of her house and the other neighbours.
Mrs Kosti’s dog could not be saved.
Fisher, who has a number of previous convictions, was found unconscious in bushes outside the house having taken a cocktail of alcohol and drugs.
Judge Jonathan Black said: “Clearly you were unable to accept the break down of your relationship with Melissa Smith and the fact she had formed a new relationship with Matthew Kosti.
“It is quite clear substantial damage was caused by your action.”
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