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February 6, 2012

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Pub arsonist sets fire to himself (by accident)

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service have released footage of a budding arsonist taking part in accidental self-immolation.

The man, who was convicted for two and a half years after pleading guilty to one count of arson, decided to attempt to burn down The Club, in Congleton, Cheshire, after being ejected for causing a fight.

He returned on August 1st 2011 just before 5am equipped with a drinks bottle full of petrol. The man, identified as Michael Morgan, can be seen cycling to the door of the Grade-II listed pub and pouring the fuel through the letterbox and over the door.

He then takes a lighter from his pocket and lights the door – engulfing himself in the flashbang that results.

It is understood Mr Morgan was not seriously injured in the incident, and he can be seen cycling away with his trousers on fire.

Mr Morgan was convicted in December 2011 for one count of arson, but the fire service have only just released the video.

Colin Heyes, the Service’s Arson Reduction Manager, said: "This clearly shows how dangerous this sort of reckless behaviour can be and it was fortunate that there was nobody in the property at the time of the fire. The person in the footage ended up going to prison for this crime. Arson costs the taxpayers millions and more importantly it costs people their lives. I would urge anyone who sees someone involved in this sort of crime to report it."

Speaking to the Daily Mail, landlord Steve Ball said, “People will always remember Morgan as the clown on the bike who set himself on fire, and he will have to live with that.”

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