A FIRE which tore through a former poultry farm was minutes away from setting neighbours’ homes alight.
Firefighters were called to a small farm just off Meadow Court, in Ossett, where arsonists had started a blaze in a barn throwing sparks into the sky.
The fire cracked a window and warped guttering at adjacent properties.
It also threw a shower of asbestos into nearby gardens.
Neighbours said they heard loud bangs and thought someone was setting off fireworks before they realised flames were raging from the farm.
John Tierney, of Meadow Court, said he was watching television at about 9pm on Friday when a neighbour banged on his door shouting for him to evacuate.
He said: “I heard some loud bangs but thought it was fireworks. Suddenly there was a bang on the door and I was told to move my car as soon as possible. I could see the flames straight away, the place was like a hellhole.”
Watch manager Nick Overton, at Ossett, said: “Everything points towards it being a deliberate ignition. The fire developed rapidly because of the construction of the building. But thankfully it was also quickly put out.
“The main initial risk was to the property right next to the farm where a window was cracked.”
Neighbours said the farm used to house hundreds of thousands of chickens, but had not done so for about 15 years.
Anyone with any information should contact police on 01924 274671.