Alabama

'Grinch' accidentally starts fire that destroys Christmas parade float

A careless “Grinch” is being blamed for a fire Thursday that destroyed a “Whoville” float for a Dr. Seuss-themed Christmas parade in Alabama.

WHNT-TV reports that the float caught fire as it was being hauled to the parade in downtown Huntsville by members of the Facebook group Lost and Found Pets of Hunstville/Madison County.

“Somebody flicked a cigarette out, and it landed in the straw on our float and burned it to the ground," said the group’s Jeananne Jackson. "My husband was driving, and I was driving behind him when I noticed the smoke, and other people did too. Luckily, several people came and helped us unload some of the stuff. We were able to salvage some of it, but the house we worked so hard on, that we were so proud of, went up in smoke.”

The station reports that the cigarette butt landed in the hay bales that were part of the float.

Jackson said the group had built a full-sized “Who” house with a smoking chimney to vie for the $300 first prize for best float, which would be used to spay and neuter cats and dogs.

The Huntsville Fire Department put the fire out.

Video shot from a car shows Jackson on the back of the burning trailer trying to salvage what she could with the help of passersby.

Undaunted, the group saved some of the creatures they made and outfitted in custom-made “Thing” costumes and wigs, put them on another trailer, and drove to the parade anyway.