AN arsonist who set fire to her flat told firemen she started the blaze because she did not like living there.

At Bolton Crown Court Vikki Fleming was jailed for three years after admitting setting alight the bedroom of her council-owned home in Gray Street North, Bolton.

Lindsay Thomas, prosecuting, told how 41-year-old amphetamine user Fleming had been alone in the flat when she used a bottle of alcohol and a cigarette lighter to start the fire.

She then walked out of the three-storey building and headed for her friend’s home nearby, telling her: “I have just set fire to my bedroom.”

Fleming’s friend, whose son Stephen Nicholls lived in the flat above the arsonist, rushed to the address.

After seeing smoke pouring out of the flat’s vent, she alerted her son, got him to safety and rang the fire service.

Firefighters were called at about 6.30pm on April 28 this year.

Four firefighters, wearing breathing apparatus, went into the building and put out the flames, which badly damaged the bedroom.

Fleming claimed she had bad memories associated with the flat and had started the fire “because I don’t like living there”.

Judge Peter Davies was told it had cost £2,800 to repair the damage.

Psychology graduate Fleming, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

Nicholas Ross, defending, told the court that Fleming is now “horrified” by what she did but the crime had been committed when she was unstable through long standing use of amphetamines.

“This offence seems to be a serious episode of amphetamine induced psychosis,” he said.

“This was not a case motivated by spite or pique or anger. Within minutes she had raised the alarm.”

But sentencing her, Judge Davies told Fleming: “You caused significant damage to property but, in particular, significant danger to life.

“Had the fire been allowed to go any further before the fire service arrived then people may have died.”