Appearing before Sheriff Raymond McMenamin on Thursday was Terence Moore, a 60-year-old from Shearer Avenue in the town.
The court heard that on December 13 last year Moore set his home on fire after stacking wood and bedding against a door. Moore admitted wilful fire raising with Fiscal depute Kevin Corrins saying that the alarm was raised by a neighbour who had noticed smoke coming through the front door.
The neighbour forced open the front door and smothered the flames before finding Moore unconscious on the sofa. Another neighbour telephoned emergency services and helped removed Moore, who had been drinking heavily, to safety.
Moore later told police that he was probably responsible for the fire being started – but that he could not remember doing so.
In his defence Moore’s solicitor David Adam said there was “a degree of helplessness” about his client, adding that he has picked up and has been alcohol-free since the incident.
Deferring sentence until December 17, Sheriff McMenamin told Moore that he as a “very fortunate man to have survived”, commending the neighbours who came to his assistance for their bravery in entering the house.
The sheriff added: “I realise the seriousness of this matter but note that matters have moved on for you – I am going to give you a further opportunity to prove yourself. The onus is very much on you to prove your life has progressed.”