Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Bungalow tanker crash: Man charged

The fuel tanker crashed into the bungalow, setting it on fire (Dorset Fire Service/PA)
Firefighters tackled a blaze at the house after the crash (Dorset Fire Service/PA)

A man has been charged with a string of offences after a woman had a lucky escape when a fuel tanker crashed into the front of her bungalow, police said.

The 51-year-old man will appear before magistrates on Monday charged with arson with intent to endanger life, arson reckless as to whether life was endangered, assault by beating, dangerous driving, theft and breach of bail.

The man, who police are not naming, was arrested on Friday following the incident in Wool, Dorset.

Police had launched a manhunt for the driver of the Watson Fuels tanker after he fled the scene of the crash and subsequent fire.

The woman, named locally as Christine Billington, was "safe and well" but the bungalow suffered "significant" damage in the blaze, police said.

Ms Billington, thought to be in her 50s, is believed to run a dog-grooming business, Paw Prints, which is registered at the address in Folly Lane, Wool.

Around 30 firefighters tackled the blaze, which was brought under control in about an hour.

Pictures released by the fire service show the tanker crashed into the front of the bungalow, having smashed through the front wall and a set of windows. The front door of the bungalow has been removed and the blaze can be seen to have ripped through the house out towards the back garden.

A large red Watson Fuels tanker was backed away from the home, leaving tyre tracks across the front garden.

A Dorset Police spokeswoman said: "This evening Dorset Police charged a 51-year-old local man with arson with intent to endanger life, arson reckless as to whether life was endangered, assault by beating, dangerous driving, theft and breach of bail. He will appear before Weymouth Magistrates' Court on January 23."

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