A Christmas parade float in Alabama started off the holiday season up in flames after someone flicked a cigarette onto its flammable surface.
"It landed in the straw on our float and burned it to the ground," float owner Jeananne Jackson told local reporters. The “Whoville” themed float — based on Dr. Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" — was set to participate in the Huntsville parade until its tragic demise.
Jackson’s husband was driving the truck with the float hitched to it while she looked on from another vehicle as the stranger flicked his cigarette outside of his car window.
Passersby saw the blazing float on the side of the road. Facebook user Chris Moore posted a video clip of the scene, which looked like it came straight out of a movie.
"We saw Santa trying to get the trailer off the back of the truck," said witness Amanda Dix, who was driving by with her family.
According to Jackson, the float took about $1,000 and three months to build.
“We had built a full-sized ‘Who house’ with lights inside and windows that you could see trees inside. We had a smoking chimney. We worked so hard,” Jackson said.
Luckily, there were many kind people who stopped to help try to extinguish the flames and get the float off the truck. The Huntsville Fire Department eventually arrived on the scene to put out the fire. Jackson said they were able to salvage some of their materials, but for the most part, the float was burned to the ground.
Jackson runs the Lost and Found Pets- Huntsville Facebook group that reunites lost pets with their owners. She, along with other members of the group, wanted to win the $300 prize money for best float in the parade so that they could use the money to pay for more pets to be spayed and neutered.
Since their chances of winning were foiled, a GoFundMe account was created on their behalf to help raise money for their cause. Thus far, the campaign has raised $1,671 of its $2,500 goal.
Perhaps the accident was a blessing in disguise because now they will have more than enough money to put toward keeping animals healthy and getting them back home.
Fortunately, no one was hurt as a result of this incident and there were people around to help; otherwise things could have been a lot worse for Jackson and her team.
Banner Photo Credit: Twitter @WHOhd