Montrose woman admits “toxic” bathtub fire

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A Montrose woman who released potentially deadly “toxic fumes” when she started a fire in a bathtub in her flat was today facing a prison sentence.

Suzanne Stewart got into an argument with her son and partner - prompting the two men to leave the flat in Montrose’s Castle Street.

Stewart then put a bundle of clothes in the bathtub of the flat and set them alight.

She then calmly walked across the close to her neighbour’s house and asked if their three-year-old daughter was in - then told them to evacuate.

Fiscal depute Eilidh Robertson told Forfar Sheriff Court: “Firefighters arrived and noticed smoke in the common close.

“The bath was melting, releasing toxic fumes, and there was significant smoke damage.

“The accused openly said she had tried to put it out with the shower but ‘made it 10 times worse’.

“Fire officers said there was a potential threat to life because of the toxic fumes released from the bath.

“The total cost of damage was estimated at £1960.”

Stewart, 41, of Castle Street, Montrose, pleaded guilty on indictment to a charge of wilful fireraising committed on January 21 this year.

Sheriff Gregor Murray deferred sentence on Stewart until next month for social work background reports and released her on bail in the meantime.

He said: “You have pleaded guilty to a very serious offence.”