Two “bored” workers accidentally started a shop fire by cremating a mouse.
Ashley Finley, 25, and Dysney Sibbons, 23, decided to try to burn the rodent to amuse themselves at the Cycle King store in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.
The blaze spread to a neighbouring pub and restaurant in Angel Hill, causing a total of £1.6m of damage.
Ipswich Crown Court heard they used some form of fuel or other accelerant to deliberately set fire to the mouse,
Judge David Pugh described it as “an act of sheer stupidity” and said the pair “were planning to amuse themselves to alleviate a boring day by cremating a mouse.”
Twelve fire crews had to be called out to deal with the blaze shortly before 5pm on 29 September 2017.
Finley, who had worked at the cycle shop for three years, lost his job as a result of the fire.
Finley, of Borley Crescent, Elmswell, and Sibbons, of Elmsett Close, Stowmarket, pleaded guilty on the first day of their trial to arson by reckless behaviour.
They are due to be sentenced next month.