A close call arson attack has left Glanmire’s scout group worried about the future of their headquarters.
On Sunday night, vandals gathered junk mail brochures in a pile in front of the Scout hut in Riverstown, Glanmire and set them alight.
Thankfully a passer-by saw the fire and called the fire brigade who tended to the scene within 15 minutes.
Group leader of the 46th/92nd (Glanmire) Cork scouts group Barry O’Keeffe said if it had not been for the person walking past, who spotted the blaze, the fire would have caught hold and there would be nothing left of their headquarters.
The fire cracked the front pane of the double glazed glass door, but fortunately, the inside panel didn’t break.
“If the glass has broken the fire would have taken a hold and could have done a lot more damage to the hut, so you know, there is a lot to be said for double glazing!” Mr O’Keeffe said the door frame melted and there was smoke damage upstairs, but nothing too serious.
The scout group had to cancel cubs yesterday because of the fire damage and the mess caused by the fire but reopened on Tuesday.
Mr O’Keeffe said they had 20 scout leaders down on Monday night cleaning up after the fire and getting the place ready for their 200 strong scout group.
“We can use the back door to get in and out and we have closed off the front door until it is all sorted.” Mr O’Keeffe said it is very frustrating to have something like this happen to their headquarters as they spent 30 years trying to get a place of their own to gather and meet at and the building is only three years old.
“We were nomads for a long time, travelling around to different halls and there is a lot of demand for the club. There is currently a waiting list of children who want to be a part of the scouts.”
Mr O’Keeffe said if the hall wasn’t usable, they would have to shut down the group, to the detriment of the children.
“It wasn’t as bad as it could have been. If the bystander had not been there it would have been a disaster and it is the kids that would suffer.” The Scout leader said that they had considered a number of security options such as CCTV, sensor lights, and shutters for the doors but were hesitant regarding these measures.
“If we got CCTV, We would need lights and we are in a very built up area and we are conscious of our neighbours regarding sensor lights.
“Also we don’t want the place to look like a prison with shutters everywhere.” Another point Mr O’Keeffe made is that any money spent on security is money taken from the children in terms of purchasing new equipment such as tents or kayaks.
The 46th/92nd (Glanmire) Cork scouts group are bag packing at SuperValu, Glanmire on Thursday 29 and Friday 30 of November to raise funds for their club. They will be bag packing from 10am until 6pm.