A district judge said yesterday that it was “only a matter of chance” that a fire started in the roof space of a bungalow in Limavady didn't spread to an adjoining roof space.
Barney McElholm made the comment at the Magistrate's Court in Londonderry when a 34-year-old man appeared charged with setting fire to the Housing Executive bungalow he rented at Eventide Gardens.
Steven McElwee is alleged to have committed arson with intent to endanger life in the early hours of Monday morning.
He has 15 previous convictions, seven of them for arson.
A police officer told the court the defendant is alleged to have removed five rows of roof tiles from the semi-detached bungalow.
“He then stuffed the gap with papers and with a piece of timber to create a draught and set fire to the papers. He then called the fire brigade,” the officer said.
McElwee was remanded in custody until December 8.