Man Sentenced Over Askew Road Fire

Five years in prison for 2006 arson attack

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A Shepherd's Bush man has been sentenced to five years in prison after being found guilty of arson.

William Spillane set fire to the stairwell of a property in Askew Road three years ago.

In the early hours of 6th March 2006, the 60-year-old started a fire at 137-139 Askew Road, endangering the lives of all the occupants, the majority of whom were asleep.

However, by chance, one resident was awake and alerted the emergency services after discovering the fire.

A number of residents were able to escape from the back of the building. One man climbed down a drainpipe in a bid to escape from the flames but when the pipe broke away from its brackets, the man fell onto a flat roof and then onto the ground, landing between two piles of building rubble.

Two other residents caught in the fire climbed out of rear
windows to escape, while another two were rescued by the fire brigade after escaping onto a window ledge.

Meanwhile, an elderly resident had to be shielded by firefighters until the fire had been brought under control, so that he could then be led to safety.

Detective Sergeant Karl Wilkinson based in the CID at Hammersmith & Fulham said: "If is was not for the quick response of the London Fire Brigade and Police at the scene, a number of lives could have been lost. It has taken a long time for this matter to come to court but I am satisfied that the sentence reflects the serious risk to the public this man poses."

14 October 2009