CHILLING CCTV footage shows the moment a teen recklessly started a fire in the doorway of a Penarth business that nearly destroyed the shop.

Jodie Tanner, owner of Queen B Boutique, said she almost didn’t have the strength to reopen her business again having just recovered from Covid after a 16-year-old teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, lit cardboard boxes stacked in a doorway that destroyed her occasion wear business.

Dark grainy CCTV footage shows a boy in a hooded top sit on a stack of flattened boxes at the doorway to Queen B Boutique, on Penarth’s Stanwell Road.

Penarth Times:

(The boy sits on the boxes)

Penarth Times:

(He starts playing with a lighter)

The boy sits there a while then pulls out a lighter and lights the boxes – something he said in court he had no idea why he did.

Footage then cuts to him walking off, but not before looking back and checking the doorway – in court the boy said he thought what he lit had gone out and never thought his stupid, reckless actions would cause such damage.

Watch the moment boy lights cardboxes which cause over £100,000 worth of damage.

In real-time the boy sat there for a couple of minutes before walking off. It took over 20 minutes for the fire to catch hold.

Shocking footage shows flames rise up licking the shopfront of the Queen B Boutique, which was all but destroyed by the fire.

Extraordinarily, on February 30 at Cardiff Crown Court, magistrates gave the hammer blow verdict that the boy will only have to pay a £500 penalty because he does not have enough money to pay back any of the damage he caused. Estimates of the monetary value of the carnage included £40,000 of building damage, £100,000 of stock damage, and nearly £200,000 of retail damage.

The £500 will be paid by the boy’s mother at a rate of £20 a month.

Around 850 items of Jodie Tanner’s stock was destroyed, including handbags, shoes and dresses - that could cost as much as £1,000. Ms Tanner estimated stock value destroyed was £100,000 and retail value an incredible £200,000.

Penarth Times:

(The boy checks the boxes before he leaves)

Penarth Times:

(The boy walks off after a couple of minutes)

Penarth Times:

(The fire took hold after over 20 minutes)

The firm that run Washington Building, of which Queen B rent units seven to ten, forked out over £20,000 of cleaning and decorating costs to get the building back to scratch.

In another hammer-blow to Ms Tanner, she revealed she was only insured for £75,000 worth of damage, with her insurance costs having gone up from £1,700 a month to £18,000 after the event.

In an impassioned plea from the defendant’s mother, she said her son had been on a bad path back then.

The defendant was given a 12-month “intensive referral order”, meaning the defendant will meet a panel of people who will help talk to him about his offending. He also has to sign a “behaviour contract” that included agreeing to 60 hours community reparation, being on curfew from 7pm to 7am for three months, and to not to be in possession of a lighter or any other items that might start a fire for 12 months.