Man set off false fire alarm at Plymouth hotel
THE Fire Service has warned that "lives are put at risk" when people falsely set off fire alarms.
This follows the court case of Thomas Moffat who diverted a Plymouth fire crew from attending a real "severe" fire, after setting off an alarm at the Jury's Inn hotel in Plymouth.
He was handed a suspended prison sentence at Plymouth Magistrates Court.
The 22-year-old who lives in Newquay, activated the alarm via a call point at the city centre hotel on February 5. A crew from Greenbank fire station responded to the alarm but while dealing with the incident a property fire was reported at Lipson Road, which had to be dealt with by the next nearest fire stations.
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A spokesman for the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said Moffat's actions could have potentially "put lives at risk"'.
Fortunately no-one was hurt, but there was a severe fire at the site.
When the incident commander at the Jury's Inn discovered that the alarm had been activated maliciously, he reported it to police. The fire service then worked closely with the officers to help build a case to aid the prosecution.
Watch Manager Ian Haim, call reduction officer for the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, said: "If it had not been for the quick thinking of the incident commander in summoning the police, with the additional help and support from fire control, this person may well have got away with this offence."
Moffat appeared charged with criminal damage to the fire alarm and a section four public order.
He was sentenced to eight weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, and 60 hours community service.
He was also placed on a curfew from 8pm to 6am from Friday to Sunday for three months, and was ordered to pay £312 compensation to the fire service.