Thoughtless vandals torched a Scammonden pub’s charity bonfire two nights before the event.
Firefighters were called to the Jack O’Mitre pub in the early hours of today after their prepared bonfire was set ablaze and spiralled “out of control.”
The pub were set to light the fire tomorrow (Saturday) night to fundraise for the Forget Me Not children’s hospice before it was attacked.
But despite the attempt to wreck the Bonfire Night fun, the pub says it is planning to rebuild it and host the event.
A crew from Slaithwaite Fire Station were called to the pub on New Hey Road at 4.30am after a passing motorist alerted them.
The pub’s owners Lauren and Jason Raper were oblivious to the inferno until the fire crew turned up and began to fight the flames.
Manager Lauren said CCTV showed the fire was lit at 12.45pm while they were still up.
But as the couple slept at the front of the building, they were completely unaware of the chaos round the back.
Crew commander Stewart Warman said the blaze covered 25m² with “sparks flying everywhere.”
“It was out of control by the time we arrived”, he said.
“It looks like someone has come along and set it on fire and spoiled the pub’s event.”
Lauren called the stunt “disgusting”.
“It’s sad that you can’t do something for charity without someone trying to ruin it,” she said.
Smoke from the fire had risen and was blowing across New Hey Road as well as towards nearby farm buildings, although the fire service said that luckily there was no danger to any people and no-one was injured.
The team from Slaithwaite brought the blaze under control within three hours before firefighters from Huddersfield Fire Station took over to dampen remaining embers.
New Hey Road was also temporarily cordoned off as thick smoke continued to blow across it.
Local resident James Bridson, 38, branded the vandals “muppets.”
He said: “I was going past and saw the fire engine outside when I saw what happened.
“It’s very disappointing, but the fire service were brilliant.”
Lauren, 28, said they are now planning to rebuild the fire – which took hours to build – before the event at 6pm on Saturday.
“We really need anyone with spare bits of wood for burning to help us out,” she said.
“Our friends and neighbours have all rallied round in support. We’re not letting a bunch of idiots ruin an event for a good cause.”
And by mid morning people had heeded the rallying call with a load of wood dropped off by someone who had travelled over from Leeds.
The event will include a firework display sponsored by local businesses and will take place at 6pm with donations to Forget Me Not.