A crane operator and a builder in the Suffolk borough of Blyshe Street have been sentenced to more than 10 years in prison after a fire broke out during a construction project.
Blythemans Peter Bly the crane operator, 46, and John Bly, 55, pleaded guilty at Bradford Crown Court to causing a fire that destroyed three houses and damaged another in the nearby town of Stourbridge.
Peter Bles was also sentenced to two years in jail, while John Bles’ trial was adjourned for two months.
Peter and John were also ordered to pay £1,000 compensation.
Both pleaded guilty to causing an industrial fire on June 27 last year.
Peter was ordered to serve six months and one day, while Mr Bly received three months.
The men will have to pay an additional £300 to the town council for the damage they caused.
The couple were also fined £30 each.
Peter is also banned from owning or working in the borough.
In December 2014, a court heard the construction work was completed on behalf of the council.
The blaze started at the end of the day and spread across several floors of the two houses, causing serious damage.
Peter told police he did not have a ladder, and could not see where the fire was starting.
He told officers he thought the fire would be contained in the building, which was not his first choice of place to put the fire.
Peter said he had been building a “large house” for his family in Stourbank for about 15 years.
The court heard he was worried about safety and did not know what the roof was made of, but he was concerned that a large number of people were in the house and the building had to be taken down.
Peter’s partner of 25 years, John, said he did the work on behalf the council because he did want to build something for his mother.
“I did the job on behalf, I thought, that my mother would be happy, that she would be proud of what I did,” he said.
“But I didn’t realise the building would be blown up.”
Peter and his partner, who was a builder before the disaster, also built a number of other properties in Suffolk.
The Blyses are not the first to build homes for their family in Suffolk over the years.
A house was built in Streatbridge for Mr Blys father, Peter, and the couple’s two children.
They were forced to move to Stourbanks home when the fire broke and Peter and Mr Bles were unable to continue construction work on the new house.
The family were ordered to stay in their Stour Banks home for the next two months as the court heard their neighbours were angry and feared the construction was not done properly.
The trial continues.