A man who was turned into a “human torch” by an explosion in a Camberwell drugs factory has been jailed for six years.
Miguel Carmona Gutierrez, 42, from Seville, Spain, was handed the jail term at Inner London Crown Court on Tuesday for the production of Class A drugs.
Gutierrez was seen jumping from a window and staggering around on fire after the blast in April and was so severely hurt he stayed in a specialist hospital burns unit until June.
More than 30 firefighters tackled the ensuing blaze, which caused chaos on Denmark Hill and Coldhabour Lane and ruined an important mural. Police also found 700g of cocaine, a fake gun and cash at the flat.
It later emerged that Gutierrez had been stirring chemicals to be made into cocaine when the explosion happened.
Acting Detective Inspector Singh of Lambeth Police said: “CCTV showed the doors of the property blown off by the explosion moments after someone walked past and it is extremely fortunate that no one else was seriously injured.
“Gutierrez is lucky to have his life, we hope he uses the time in prison to reflect and re-habilitate his lifestyle. Drugs are a blight on our community and this case highlights the dangers involved in the production of controlled drugs.”
Hero bystander Ryan Byers, 30, used a fire extinguish to put out flames on Gutierrez. He told the Standard in April: “I saw a guy come running out in flames so I ran to the salon and picked up an extinguisher and hosed him down.
“Some of his clothes had burned off but he had half a trouser leg still on which was on fire, and so was his neck and chest.”
Gutierrez did not attend his court appearance on Monday after a failed attempt to flee the country. He was then arrested near the coast in Kent on the same day. As a result the judge sentenced an additional 14 days in prison to run concurrent for failing to appear at court.
Two women arrested at the scene of the blast were released by police during their investigation. A second man, aged 25, was charged by cops but the case against him was later dropped.