A man under the influence of drink and drugs set fire to a bin in a disabled toilet in Pizza Express on the High Street on Thursday February 7.
Thomas Page, 22, walked into the restaurant at 9.50am, asking to use the bathroom. According to the chef (who did not wish to be named) opening up the restaurant.
Thomas was in the bathroom for about 20 minutes, before being checked on by the chef. The chef received no response after knocking on the door.
After a further five minutes with no response, the chef used a knife to open the locked door to check on Page’s welfare.
“I could see he was unwell after taking what I suspected to be drugs. He was unresponsive, but conscious. At this stage I called the ambulance.”
The paramedics advised a 60 minute response time due to the condition and level of emergency. By 11.30am the paramedics had still not arrived, with customers entering the restaurant and Page still in the bathroom. The door was kept closed so as not to alarm diners.
The chef added: “At 11.50, whilst I was preparing orders in the kitchen, the waiter on the floor ran to the kitchen to tell me there was a load of smoke coming from where the man was. I ran to the bathroom and saw smoke pouring from the disabled toilet. When we opened the door it was evident that the gentleman had set fire to the bin while preparing drugs for him to use.”
As Page was intoxicated and unable to stand, restaurant staff removed him from the bathroom to avoid injury.
Police assistance was then called for, and the fire was put out by a waiter. He was then detained by police after being signed off by paramedics. The restaurant was declared safe by police and it resumed normal service.
Thomas Page of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to arson at Lincoln Magistrates Court on February 15.