Blaze to hasten scout hut demolition

PUBLISHED: 12:44 23 July 2009 | UPDATED: 16:05 11 May 2010

The aftermath of the scout hut fire

The aftermath of the scout hut fire

A VILLAGE scout hut targeted by arsonists for a second time is to be demolished. Fire ripped through the derelict Melbourn hut on Sunday night, leaving the building in ruins. Neighbours alerted fire crews after seeing smoke billowing from the hut at aroun

A VILLAGE scout hut targeted by arsonists for a second time is to be demolished.

Fire ripped through the derelict Melbourn hut on Sunday night, leaving the building in ruins.

Neighbours alerted fire crews after seeing smoke billowing from the hut at around 10.45pm.

Bob Gillibrand, of The Moor, Melbourn, was one of the first on the scene.

He said: "We could hear a lot of commotion going on outside, and when we looked out the hut was on fire and there were loads of youths riding round on their little buzz bikes and watching it burn.

"It's totally destroyed, so whoever started the fire has done a good job on it this time. It's such a shame, because it's not long ago that it was a youth centre."

Two fire crews, one from Royston and one from Cambridge, took two hours to bring the blaze under control.

The cause of the fire is thought to be deliberate.

Cllr Janice Guest, district councillor for Melbourn, said the building is the property of the Church Commission.

She said: "South Cambridgeshire District Council have been in discussions with the Church Commission for some time about getting the building taken down.

"It was delayed because there was some asbestos in the roof which needed to be dealt with properly, but this fire may speed the process up."

Two years ago the building was set to be turned into a cyber café. However, equipment brought for the facility was vandalised, and the scheme had to be scrapped.

The building has been standing empty ever since, and in May 2008 was set on fire, destroying part of the roof.

Cllr Guest added: "I know the parish council look after the common land around the hut, and may be interested in taking responsibility for this area too.

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