Man with Buckfast set off huge fire visible for miles by throwing lit paper onto Dundee pumping station

A firestarter who caused over half a million pounds worth of damage when he “recklessly” torched a sewage pumping station is facing jail.

Dean Yeats told onlookers: “It was me – I didn’t mean it” as the inferno swept across the King George V Pumping Station in Dundee’s docks area.

Dean Yeats

He said he had set fire to a piece of paper and thrown it on to the pumping station – starting an enormous blaze that was visible from across the city.

Firefighters found Yeats standing just feet from the blaze and had to wrestle him away as he threw items including paving slabs and bottles at the fire.

Fiscal depute Nicola Gillespie told Dundee Sheriff Court that the pumping station was completely destroyed at a cost of around £550,000.

The fire took place on February 16

She said: “The accused was seen in the area by witnesses who thought it was suspicious.

“He was seen near a concrete platform carrying two bags and a bottle of Buckfast and a member of the public who saw him thought he had no reason to be there.

“Soon after another member of the public saw the locus on fire.

“It was a large fire starting to take effect on the roof and he called 999.

“The accused was shouting ‘no, no, no’ and went towards the fire.

”The accused then approached a member of the public and said ‘it was me, I didn’t mean it’.

“The fire was fully engaged, large and encompassing the pumping station and the sewage tower.

”The accused was standing six feet from the fire – extremely close and dangerous.

“A firefighter in full personal protective equipment shouted to come towards him but he continued acting in an extremely agitated manner and the firefighter had to pull him away by the arm.

”The fire was brought under control and eventually extinguished.

“The total cost of damage was £550,000.”

Dundee fire Steven Bell

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Fire in Dundee

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Fire in dundee new batch (1) Fire in dundee new batch (2) Fire in dundee new batch (3) Fire in dundee new batch (4) Fire in dundee new batch (5)Courtesy of Neil Paton

Dundee fire pro

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Yeats, 25, of Forfar, pleaded guilty on indictment to a charge of culpable and reckless fireraising committed on February 16 this year.

Defence solicitor Craig Scott said: “He can offer no explanation other than that he accidentally discarded something that he had already lit and the consequences to put it mildly were exceptionally unfortunate.

“He suffers from a form of drug induced psychosis and is engaging with professionals in relation to that.”

Sheriff Alastair Carmichael deferred sentence until next month for social work background reports and a psychiatric report.

Yeats was released on bail meantime.

VIDEO: Fire rages in Dundee’s docks

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