11/04/2012 12:45 BST | Updated 11/06/2012 06:12 BST

London Riots: Croydon Fire's Path Of Destruction Revealed After Arsonist Gordon Thompson Sentenced (SLIDESHOW)

Gordon Thompson Sentenced For Reeves Fire During Croydon Riots - The Aftermath Of Reeves Furniture Store

Gordon Thompson, the arsonist behind the fire at the Reeves store in Croydon during the London riots, has been sentenced to 11 and a half years in prison.

But the true extent of his crime has not been revealed in brutal detail until now.

A series of dramatic images have been released by the Metropolitan Police showing the ruins of the furniture shop and apartments destroyed in the blaze.

So devastating are the images they bring to mind photographs taken in the aftermath of the Blitz or a foreign warzone.

The inferno at the 140-year-old House of Reeves in Croydon, south London, last August was so fierce it spread to buildings on the other side of the road and tram lines in the street caught fire.

Gordon Thompson, 34, admitted arson and being reckless as to whether life was endangered on 24 February, a few days into his trial.

He was given 11 and a half years for the arson, two years each for two counts of burglary, and three years for a third count of burglary, to run concurrently.

In total the Reeves family have lost an estimated £3 million and a judge told Thompson the trauma they had suffered was "inestimable".

In a victim impact statement, Trevor Reeves said: "The total destruction of the site has been a bereavement to me, I just can't understand what I have done to make someone do this to me."