Video: Youths caught on camera setting Leeds skatepark fire

Youths piled rubbish beneath a skate ramp to start a fire which burned so fiercely that the flames rose to eight feet.

The group stoked the fire by throwing on items stolen from bins behind Horsforth Hall Park Cricket Club, leaving the skate ramp unusable.

Horsforth Hall Park Cricket Club committee member Rob Hodson beside the damaged skate ramp. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

Horsforth Hall Park Cricket Club committee member Rob Hodson beside the damaged skate ramp. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

The act of arson was captured on the club’s CCTV cameras during the early hours of Monday morning.

Committee member Rob Hodson said: “This wasn’t kids just playing around with a bit of fire and it got out of hand.

“It was deliberate. You can see them shoving the litter under the ramp.

“The fire just got bigger and bigger, and they stoked it. The flames were about seven or eight feet high in the end.”

The flames were about seven or eight feet high in the end.

Rob Hodson, cricket club committee member

The youths are first seen walking over to the skate park in Horsforth Hall Park at around 4am and then rifling through the bins of the cricket club.

They stayed in the park fuelling the fire for the best part of an hour before leaving.

Mr Hodson said: “It’s park equipment. It just happens we’ve caught it on our cameras.

“We’ve got footage of the whole incident. It starts in dusk really so the infra-red is being used, but then gradually the sun starts to come up.

“The fire brigade then turned up. I suspect that somebody who drove past had rung them.”

A fire service spokeswoman said they were alerted shortly before 5.20am, with a crew from Cookridge sent to ensure the flames were extinguished.

Parks staff have since moved the damaged ramp off the skate park itself until it is removed.

A Leeds City Council spokesman said they were aware of the incident and would be working with police to trace those responsible for starting the fire.

Anyone with information is asked to call West Yorkshire Police via 101.

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