‘My ex-girlfriend tried to burn me alive after I ended our relationship’

When Kevin Faulks realised he couldn’t get out of his front door, he thought he was going to die.

Desperately choking on black smoke, the dad-of-three was certain that he would be burnt alive.

He was trapped inside his flat after his ex-girlfriend Louise Podmore, 43, stuffed burning paper through the letterbox.

As flames licked at his front door, Kevin realised that she had finally carried out what she had always chillingly promised.

Twisted Louise had always told him that no one else could have him, if she couldn’t.

Podmore was jailed for seven years at Shrewsbury Crown Court on September 30 after admitting to arson with intent to endanger life.

Now Kevin has added his voice to the growing number of men speaking out about domestic abuse they have suffered behind closed doors and bravely relives the horror of that night.

The fire started in the early hours of the morning after Podmore shoved burning paper through his letterbox on January 7 this year.

Kevin said: "I just woke up with a horrible smell.

"I'd already inhaled a lot of smoke and it felt like I'd had 30 pints of lager.

"So I had a look to see what was going on and you could see flames at the door.

"I ran to the kitchen to get water to put the fire out and I wanted to open the window.

"But in the end, I'd inhaled so much that I just passed out.

"I just thought, right, I've paid my funeral bill, I might as well just die.

"I've done everything I need too, I've lived my life, so I lay down to give up.

"But I came back round, managed to get up and open the window and people were outside shouting at me to jump."

Neighbours ran up and kicked the front door down and Kevin followed their shouts through the thick smoke.

And he realised that Louise was involved when she tried to get in the ambulance.

The twisted ex had returned to the scene of the crime after fleeing and was arrested shortly after.

Kevin, who is deaf in one ear and blind in one eye, said: "One of my neighbours told me that she had done it.

"But I couldn't even think about that. I thought I might die.

"Every time I took a breath, it felt like I was drowning in red hot water.

"All I felt was heat, not oxygen."

Kevin had suffered burns to his head and fingertips, as well as smoke inhalation and was treated in hospital with oxygen and intravenous fluids.

When he came out of hospital, he found he was homeless due to the damage to the building, which cost around £60,000 and months of work to repair.

After staying with family for a few weeks, he rented a temporary flat and hopes to return to his original home – where he had lived for 13 years – next month after builders have repaired the damage.

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