The work of just two boys

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A £700,000 blaze that tore through a Calderdale garage was started by two boys in their early teens.

They were just 13 and 15 when they threw petrol over a wagon at Stoneywood Motors in Sowerby Bridge and torched it. Twenty-two vehicles were destroyed in the December 2009 inferno.



Firefighters from across the region worked through the night to beat the flames. And an exclusion zone was thrown around the garage for a further 36 hours amid fears that gas cylinders could explode.

Today the teenagers, now aged 14 and 16, were beginning sentences in youth custody.

The 14-year-old was given two years. The 16-year got four. Judge Jonathan Rose told the teenagers: “You took part in a grave offence of arson.

“It is nothing short of a miracle that both of you weren’t seriously injured or killed in the fire.”

He added: “Security staff and firefighters put their lives on the line. The damage, the risk to others and economic damage are all consequences of your actions.”

Bradford Crown Court was told the boys used petrol to start the fire. A petrol can was found within the yard.

Judge Rose said: “Anyone looking at that yard would have known the potential for disaster and how the fire would spread.”

One of the vehicles destroyed was a £280,000 cherry picker.

The court was told the boys fled the scene but were caught on CCTV and arrested soon after.

Another fire had broken out at the garage earlier that day and it is estimated £1million damage was caused from the two blazes.