Terrifying footage shows woman dragged away from flat fire she started as she tried to fetch baby clothes


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WalesOnline

Terrifying footage shows the moment an explosion blew out windows during a flat fire started by a woman at her home. Sabina Khanom, 27, was jailed for arson after she set fire to her sofa at her Newport flat and tried to run back into the property shouting “I have to get my baby’s clothes”.

Panicked residents are seen running in fear after the fire took hold and caused an explosion as the defendant runs towards her home. A sentencing hearing at Cardiff Crown Court heard neighbours saw smoke coming from the flat in Darent Road, Bettws, on August 2 and heard an alarm sounding. Khanom was seen setting fire to bits of tissue with a disposable lighter before throwing it onto a settee and pouring flammable liquid on top of it.

In footage showed to the court, neighbours could be heard shouting “Get back” as Khanom ran back into the property, saying “I have to get my baby’s clothes”. She was followed by neighbour Gary Burroughs who pulled her back as smoke poured out of the door and windows.

Read more: The Welsh criminals refused more lenient sentences or given harsher ones by the Court of Appeal

(Image: Gwent Police)

The blaze escalated with tall flames flickering from the flat, but Khanom again attempted to run into the property and was again dragged back by Mr Burroughs, seconds before an explosion caused the windows to blow out. The fire brigade arrived moments later and worked to put out the fire.

The defendant was restrained by a member of the public until the police arrived and arrested her. A hostile crowd had gathered in the street, and were angry Khanom had put their lives in danger. After being taken to the police station, she was interviewed and claimed she had fallen asleep while cooking a risotto and had awoken to see the flat on fire.

An investigation revealed the fire was deliberately started in the living room by the application of a naked flame to combustible material. A disposable lighter was found at the flat, which was left inhabitable with damage worth £30,000 being caused by the fire.

Khanom later pleaded guilty to arson with recklessness as to whether life was endangered, drunk and disorderly behaviour and possession of a controlled drug of class B. She was also in breach of a suspended sentence of eight months for using threatening/abusive/insulting words or behaviour and possession of a bladed article. The defendant had a number of previous convictions including public order offences.

In mitigation, the court heard Khanom had been diagnosed with emotionally unstable personality disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, and was a user of alcohol and drugs. Defence barrister Gareth Williams said his client was vulnerable and fragile due to the abuse she suffered as a child. He said she started the fire to self harm, and did not intend to cause harm to others.

Sentencing, Judge Michael Fitton KC said: “This was a very serious offence, you were responsible for the fire in a residential area where children were playing in the …

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