A HORRIFIED pigeon fancier spoke of his “devastation” after teenage firebugs torched his shed – killing 140 birds and their babies.
Steven Field, 50, watched as flames ripped through his pigeon loft at Field Pet Supplies on Flass Lane, Cutskye, after the arson attack between 8.30pm and 9.20pm on Tuesday January 25.
It is believed a pair of teenagers were responsible for the blaze, which caused thousands of pounds worth of damage.
Steve, who has kept pigeons for nine years, said: “It’s absolutely devastating. They were my pets – they each had names.
“The damage to wooden shed is probably up to £5,000, but the pigeons were priceless to me.
“I just can’t understand why anyone would do this to defenceless animals. It’s unbelievable cruelty.
“If someone has a grudge against me they could have at least released the birds before starting the fire.
“It’s so upsetting. I hope the police catch who’s done this so they don’t put anyone else through this heartache.”
Granddad Steve, whose sons Ashley, 26, and Daniel, 25, run the business where the shed was kept, was called to reports of a blaze at around 8.30pm.
He said: “I rushed straight down there and the fire brigade had already been called.
“A taxi driver said he saw two teenagers, aged around 12 to 14, running from the scene and through some fields.
“We think they might be from the local area.
“By the time I got there everything was destroyed. I lost 140 birds – some that I’d kept for eight or nine years.
“There were families and some had babies during the breeding season.
“All those lives have been lost. It’s devastating. I know I shouldn’t let the person who’s done this bring me down, but I’m not sure I can carry on with pigeon racing.
“Those birds can’t be replaced.”
Police are investigating the blaze and have sent letters to households across the area appealing for witnesses to come forward.
Witnesses or anyone with information should contact PC Craig Steel at Castleford neighbourhood policing team on 01924 206210 or Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555111.