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Murston man Paul Jarvis charged with arson after Sheerness pensioner John Lawson rescued from flat fire in Strode Crescent

By Emma Grove

A man has been charged with arson with intent to endanger life after a fire at a Sheerness flat.

Firefighters had to rescue 72-year-old John Lawson, who was trapped on the top floor of the building in Strode Crescent.

Now Paul Jarvis, of All Saints Road, Murston, has been charged by police.

The flat in Strode Crescent, Sheerness, that was damaged by fire

The 36-year-old has been bailed to appear before magistrates on Monday, June 23.

The blaze broke out at the terraced property at 11pm on Wednesday, April 9.

Neighbours alerted his ex-wife Sandra Lawson and she arrived to find him unconscious in the street, wearing an oxygen mask.

"It was a big shock – he was jet black," she said. "I couldn't see anything except his eyes and everyone was standing round him."

Damage to the stairs at the flat in Strode Crescent, Sheerness

The 61-year-old said the couple's son Justin had been on the phone to his dad, a retired musician, shortly before the fire.

He had said he could not breathe, so the 32-year-old had rushed round there and told firefighters his father was upstairs.

Their daughter Adele, 26, went with him to hospital.

Burnt furniture outside the Strode Crescent flat

Mrs Lawson said although the flat was not completely gutted, and they hoped some of the sentimental things would be salvageable, everything else would have to go.

"It's jet black with soot – you couldn't ever live there," she added at the time of the fire.

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