Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service welcomed custodial sentences given to four men who started a fire which destroyed a Grade II*-listed building.
Six fire crews were called to the fire at Sandhill Park, Bishops Lydeard, near Taunton, on 22 November, 2011. The service was on site for two days extinguishing the fire. The cost to the service of attending the incident has been estimated at £30,000.
The four men had pleaded guilty at a previous hearing and were given custodial sentences of between 12 to 27 months at Taunton Crown Court on 28 February.
The fire service will seek to prosecute anyone who puts lives in danger by deliberately starting fires.
Station Manager Chris Hole, who investigated the fire, said: "These sentences should act as a deterrent to anyone thinking of committing such a serious crime, that this type of behaviour is not acceptable and is a blight on society.
“Arson is a serious crime which doesn't only damage property, these fires often get completely out of control and members of the public and firefighters have been seriously injured or even killed as a result of arsonists.
“Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service has a policy of investigating every fire, our specialist Fire Investigation Officers are well trained and work diligently with the police to examine the cause of fires and we will endeavour to prosecute anyone who commits arson.”
Wider Fire and Rescue Case Studies – The Virtual Black Museum
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service the virtual Black Museum. This was launched to highlight potential causes of fire and to give important safety messages.
The aim is to build up a library of images and stories from a range of different incidents, detailing the causes and circumstances of the fire and will often include a powerful impact statement from those affected.