An arsonist who caused £8 million worth of damage by starting a fire at an Amazon warehouse after having an argument with his manager has been jailed.
Adris Ali lit a stack of papers which destroyed stock and the building itself on November 4 last year, Staffordshire Police said.
The 22-year-old was jailed for four years at Stafford Crown Court on Tuesday for arson with intent or recklessness as to whether life was endangered.
Prosecutor Darron Whitehead said the fire had damaged 613,549 units at the site, resulting in a loss of £7.3m.
The repair, clean-up and labour costs amounted to a further £745,000.
Mr Whitehead told the court a fire alarm activation was triggered at Amazon Fulfilment Centre, in Station Road, Rugeley, just after midday.
The building was evacuated of all staff and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service attended the scene.
despite attempts to put out the blaze.
A fire was burning on the third and fourth floors and internal sprinklers had been activated.
Mr Whitehead read witness statements reporting “large flames quickly growing and spreading between aisles” and “flames stretching from floor to ceiling”.
Judge Michael Chambers, sentencing, told Ali: “You put a lot of people at risk and caused a lot of damage. A fire such as this puts lives at genuine risk.”
Robert Cowley, defending, said Ali’s actions were entirely out of character and he had made an early admission of guilt.
He said: “It was a huge loss sustained, but the defendant did not intend this level of loss.”
Detective Constable Andrew Shorthouse, of Staffordshire Police, said it was fortunate the recklessness of Ali’s actions had not resulted in more grave consequences.
He added: “This was a serious fire which has destroyed millions of pounds of stock, but we are glad that no one was harmed that day. Ali can now reflect on his actions in prison.”
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service investigator Carl Mason said the fire was deliberate and that toxic smoke had engulfed the building, posing a risk to others.
He said: “We welcome this sentence which reflects the seriousness of Ali’s actions.
“This fire could have easily resulted in serious injury to members of staff and it took considerable time and effort to safely extinguish.”