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16th NOVEMBER 2002



FIRE HOUSE…The home in Tirycoed Road, Glanaman


A GLANAMAN man was accused of setting fire to his home while his four children were asleep this week.

Kevin Martin Strange, aged 32, of Tir Y Coed Road, allegedly set fire to the hose during the early hours of Saturday.

His children William, Jean, Thomas and Isabelle, aged nine to 18 months, were upstairs when fire broke out.

Neighbours saw Strange, whose wife Belinda died of cancer in August, usher his children to safety in the street and phone the fire brigade from his mobile phone.

A Mid and West Wales Fire Service spokesman said: “The house was not fully ablaze when we got to the scene. It was mainly smoke damage.

We did use breathing apparatus and it took roughly an hour and a half to make the property and the adjoining property safe.”

Neighbour Damian Martin, aged 23, said he was woken at 1.30am by a knock on the door to be told the house next door was ablaze.

He said: “Myself and Anthony, who also lives here, stayed on the street until it was safe to return to our house. It was about 3am when we were finally able to return to our house.”

Both Strange and his children had to be given oxygen at the scene and were taken to Morriston Hospital. The children were released after checks and are now staying with Stranger's in-laws.

He appeared before Ammanford magistrates on Monday charged with arson with intent to endanger life and arson by being reckless in relation to his neighbours' property.

Wearing a white T-shirt, dark trousers and black and yellow trainers. Strange was led into court handcuffed to a prison officer. He spoke only to confirm his name, age and address. Pleas were not taken.

As crown prosecutor Kevin Jones outlined the charges Strange, who was represented by Peter Lazarus, looked down at his feet.

He was remanded in custody to appear at Swansea Crown Court on Tuesday
(Nov 11) for a plea and direction hearing. There was no application for bail.

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