A GOOD Samaritan sprang into action after arsonists targeted a Bowls clubhouse in Weymouth.
Local resident Iain Campbell averted disaster when he dashed over to Greenhill Bowls Club and tackled a blaze which was threatening to take hold of the building.
It is believed someone had deliberately set fire to bins fixed to the side of the building yesterday evening.
Warwick Brown, a member of the club, said the whole roof could have caught alight if the flames had not been doused so quickly.
He said: “If someone hadn’t seen it as quickly as they had it would have taken hold.
“The flames were right up under the eaves – in a few more minutes they would have gone up into the roof, along the rafters and that would have been it.
“That’s what happened at the Dorchester club in an arson attack about 18 months ago and it was a real disaster.”
Mr Campbell’s quick thinking meant the damage was limited to the rendering on the wall and panelling in the eaves.
He said: “My friends and I spotted the fire so we called the emergency services and then I grabbed an extinguisher and rushed out.
“It was quite lucky that we saw it when we did because the whole building could have gone up.
“I didn’t really think twice about it, I just ran out there to try and help.”
He added: “It was quite a high flame and there was a fair bit of smoke as well.
“The fire extinguisher I had was only a little one from my home but it did the job really well.
“We put most of it out and within a couple of minutes the fire brigade arrived and finished it off.”
Mr Campbell said problems with arson and vandalism in the area are improving.
He said: “We do get problems like this around here sometimes but there’s a lot less now than there used to be.
“Hopefully for every person who wants to start a fire there’s a person like me who would do the right thing and put it out.”
Fire crews arrived on the scene at around 9pm to fully extinguish the flames.
A spokesman for Dorset Fire and Rescue Service said it is believed the fire was started deliberately.
Police officers also attended the incident and are appealing for witnesses to the suspected arson attack.
Anyone with information can call Dorset Police on 101, quoting incident number 26:443.