Man charged with torching flats in Blackpool after residents tackle flames and firefighters rescue casualty from inside burning building

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A man appeared in court charged with putting lives in danger by setting fire to a block of flats.


Johnathon Hartley, 45, was accused of starting the fire where he lives in He faces an additional allegation of recklessly causing the fire.

Hartley appeared before Blackpool Magistrates’ Court, which was told two members of the public spotted the flames and used extinguishers inside the building to put them out.

Defending, Howard Green said his client would deny the offences.

Blackpool Magistrates' Court

Blackpool Magistrates’ Court

Magistrates said the case must be dealt with at the higher Preston Crown Court, where Hartley was due to appear on Christmas Eve.

Three fire engines and crews – from stations in Forest Gate, near Stanley Park; and South Shore – were called to Reads Avenue at around 5.45pm on Monday after a fire broke out in a ground floor flat.

“One casualty was rescued from the property before receiving first aid from fire service personnel,” a spokesman said.

“Firefighters used two hose reels, four breathing apparatus, a positive pressure ventilation unit, a first aid kit, and oxygen therapy at this incident.”

Crews were there for “several” hours.Reads Avenue, central Blackpool.