Lights blaze charge for teen

Fire at the Illuminations depot, Rigby Rd, Blackpool
Fire at the Illuminations depot, Rigby Rd, Blackpool
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A TEENAGE boy has appeared in court charged with causing a massive blaze which destroyed many of the world famous Blackpool Illuminations.

The 15-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is alleged to have confessed to causing the £200,000 fire in messages to an ex-girlfriend on social networking website Facebook.

The fire – which the prosecution claim began with a deliberate fire bombing of a caravan – started in the van and then spread to storage areas at the Illuminations depot on Rigby Road, where equipment and display tableaux were stored during the winter.

The buildings and contents are all owned by Blackpool Council.

The teenager, who lives with his mother in central Blackpool, was arrested following the arson attack on June 13 this year. Three other youths were also quizzed by police but were released without charge, Blackpool Youth Court heard yesterday.

The magistrates also heard that police believe the caravan where the fire started had been deliberately “fire bombed”.

Howard Green, defending, whose client is charged with reckless arson, said the youngster would deny the offence after magistrates decided the case would have to be heard at Preston Crown Court, where more serious offences are dealt with.

He successfully applied for bail for the youth, on condition he lives and sleeps at his mother’s resort home.

He must also abide by a 7pm to 6am curfew.

He will next appear before the youth court on September 22 when his case will be committed to the higher court.