Man admits starting fire workshop

PUBLISHED: 09:01 25 February 2009 | UPDATED: 13:07 03 July 2010

A TEENAGER admitted yesterday to starting a major blaze at a Great Yarmouth garage workshop which led to 120 people being evacuated from nearby premises.

A TEENAGER admitted yesterday to starting a major blaze at a Great Yarmouth garage workshop which led to 120 people being evacuated from nearby premises.

Psychiatric reports were ordered on Steven Trudgill after he pleaded guilty to causing arson at the workshop in Albert Road on November 28 last year and endangering the life of Bart de Saar.

Trudgill, 18, also asked at Norwich Crown Court for 12 other counts of criminal damage caused by fire on the same day to be taken into consideration.

During the early morning garage workshop blaze, firefighters set up a 200m exclusion zone because of fears that oxyacetylene gas cylinders might explode.

A total of 120 residents and guests from nearby hotels and guesthouses spent more than three hours at the Marina Centre while 40 firefighters tackled the flames.

The garage's owner, believed to be Mr de Saar, tried to put out the fire before seven fire engines arrived.

The fire, which took two hours to put out, also spread to neighbouring homes.

Last November, neighbour Glenda Winn said: “We could smell plastic and stuff coming from the workshop. I just told my husband to get away from the windows, shut the curtains and pull the blinds down.”

During yesterday's court hearing, Katharine Moore, representing Trudgill, asked for a psychiatric report to be prepared on her client before he is sentenced next month. She said: “It is a very unusual case and the circumstances are unusual.”

Trudgill, of Harbord Crescent, Yarmouth, was remanded in custody until his sentencing on March 23.

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