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Blazing bunny destroys English cricket club

Published: Friday, August 13, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
 
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London:A burning rabbit has destroyed a 150-year-old cricket club in England after being set on fire accidentally in a bundle of branches by two groundsmen, firemen said.

The men, working at Devizes Cricket Club ground in the west of England, saw the rabbit escape, trailing its burning tail with it.

Thirty minutes later, the club shed was on fire, and despite the best efforts of 11 firefighters, they were unable to salvage the shed or what it contained.

The club estimated that the unfortunate rabbit caused 60,000 pounds (89,000 euros, 1,10,000 dollars) of damage when the fire burnt the 12-metre (40-foot) long shed and all the material used for the upkeep of the club.

Devizes fire station commander Philip Flowers, 41, said on Friday that in over 20 years of service he had never fought a blaze caused by an burning animal.

"We're 99 percent confident it was the rabbit that caused the fire," he said. "It was either burnt to a cinder or it escaped through a small hole in the corner of the shed, but I imagine it perished and went to bunny heaven."

No remains of the rabbit were found, leaving a little hope it may have survived the inferno.

Flowers stressed jokingly that "extreme vigilance" was now being taken with all rabbits in his jurisdiction.

"We now know that even bunnies can create a lot of problems," he added.

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