Man pulled to safety after he lit fire at Woorabinda home

AS FLAMES closed in around them, two young men dragged a heavily intoxicated Jacob Chermside from his Woorabinda home to safety.

Minutes later, the house was nothing but a pile of ash.

"If not for them God only knows what would have happened to him," defence barrister Ross LoMonaco told the Rockhampton District Court yesterday.

"If it were up to me they would be given bravery awards."

Chermside, 46, pleaded guilty to one count of arson for setting his housing commission residence alight on May 25, 2011.

Mr LoMonaco said his client had a tough upbringing, riddled with family feuds and physical abuse. He said Chermside started drinking when he was just 12 years old.

This developed into a chronic problem with alcohol.

Crown prosecutor Russell Hood said on the day of the offence Chermside stood on his veranda and yelled abuse at his brother, who lived nearby.

The court heard Chermside threatened to lock himself in his house and set it alight.

Mr Hood said Chermside's nephews noticed flames coming from the house and ran over to help. The court heard they had to kick in a door to gain access.

Chermside was found lying on the floor and they were able to get him out in time.

He suffered burns to his face.

Mr Hood said there was an insurance settlement for the house of $147,293.

The court heard Chermside had a history of minor street offences.

Judge Paul Smith adjourned the matter to today to read a psychological report and consider the sentence.



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