Jail for chip shop arsonist who set himself ablaze
An arsonist who engulfed himself in a fireball when he set light to a chip shop has been jailed.
North Yorkshire Police said Lubos Filek, 40, has never explained why he torched Abbey Fisheries in Selby, causing more than £100,000 of damage.
Filek was caught on CCTV as the blaze set fire to his clothes, engulfing him in flames, as he ran from the scene.
The force confirmed that Filek was jailed for five years and eight months at York Crown Court on Friday.
Firefighters were called to the shop in Gowthorpe at 3.50am on March 21 after members of the public reported the blaze, a police spokesman said.
Filek ran away but the flames ignited his clothes and he suffered burns to his hands and body.
The spokesman said the defendant discarded some items of clothing in a nearby alleyway and they were still smouldering when officers found them.
DNA tests on the discarded clothing and identified unemployed Filek, of Holmes Avenue in Selby.
But he denied setting the building on fire, claiming he was at his girlfriend's home on the night of the incident.
The force said Filek later pleaded guilty to the charge of arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.
Detective Constable Peter Smith said: "The huge blaze started by Filek could have caused untold damage to innocent people and neighbouring buildings.
"It's surprising nobody was seriously hurt or killed.
"The fire spread very quickly – so quickly in fact that it appears to have caught Filek totally by surprise as he ignited himself along with the building.
"Thankfully, we were able to identify and track down this offender very quickly and we're grateful for information provided to us by members of the Selby community."
Dc Smith added: "Filek never explained why he did it or gave any reason for his actions, but that didn't stop us building a case against him that has resulted in a significant prison sentence today.
"North Yorkshire is safer when criminals like him are behind bars."