Skegby scout hut gutted by fire

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A Fire at a Skegby scout hut at the weekend has caused thousands of pounds of damage and left more than 50 young people without a base.

The blaze at the hut in Mansfield Road, Skegby started at around 5pm on Saturday, 8th June, destroying the roof and thousands of pounds of tents and other equipment.

It is understood that the blaze started after a plastic bench at the side of the property caught light.

Fire then travelled up the side of the building, setting fire to the rafters and spreading throughout the roof.

Fire crews from Mansfield and Ashfield fire stations attended the blaze, and used two jets to put out the blaze..

Scout leader Julie Butler said the blaze will be devastating for the 55 scout members, as well as other groups that use the hut, including the Hope Group, from St Andrew’s Church.

She said: “We have literally lost half the roof. When you go up into the loft space you can see just how much damage it has done.

“It’s going to be a massive clean-up operation - I was up in the loft space for about half an hour on Saturday and I was absolutely black from head to foot when I came back down.

“I wouldn’t like to think how much it is going to cost to get this put right.

“Aside from the damage to the building, there are thousands of pounds worth of tents and other equipment which has gone up in smoke.

“We would like to appeal to people from the local community to help with the clean-up, as it’s going to be a huge job.”

In the short term, the 1st Skegby Scouts, which was set up last year, will be operating from a temporary shelter which will be erected on the Mansfield Road site.

Julie is due to meet with insurers yesterday (Tuesday 11th June) and says she hopes that the damage can be repaired in time for the group to return to the hut after the Summer break in September.

But they have also been offered a temporary home at St Andrew’s Church, Julie said.

“It would be wonderful to think that everything could be sorted out by September, so the youngsters can come back in after the Summer holiday, but I don’t know whether I’m being too optimistic,” she added.

Nottinghamshire Police have not yet confirmed whether the fire is being treated as suspicious.

But Julie told the Chad that she has plans to meet with local officers to report the blaze as a crime after residents spotted a group of youths running from the scene of the fire.