'Grinch' flicks cigarette on Dr. Seuss float, setting it on fire on way to Christmas parade

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - A real-life Grinch set fire to Whoville, burning down the Dr. Seuss-themed float before it could reach the Huntsville Christmas Parade in Alabama Thursday.

Jeananne Jackson, the creator of the group behind the float, told WHNT someone flicked a cigarette from another car while they were driving on South Memorial Parkway.  Jackson said her husband was driving the truck with the float and she was in another vehicle and saw everything happen.

The cigarette butt landed in several hay bales and the elaborate creation quickly caught fire -- three months of hard work up in flames.  Jackson said they spent $1,000 in materials for the mobile Whoville replica, built for the Dr. Seuss-themed parade.

The Huntsville Fire Department responded to put out the fire, but most of the structure had burned.  Luckily, they were able to save some of the dogs, pigs and other creatures wearing custom-made Thing costumes and wigs.

The float was created by the Facebook group for Lost and Found Pets of Huntsville/Madison County.  It helps reunite missing pets with their owners -- they have nearly 13,000 members and 5,000 success stories.

The group was trying to win the $300 prize for best float, so they could use that money to pay for more pets to be spayed and neutered.

The group scrambled to get another trailer brought to the parade site, so they could put the items they saved onto it.  Group members also dressed in costume, trying to make the best of a bad start.

For more information on the group, visit their Facebook page.