Emergency services stretched by spate of fires started deliberately across Northamptonshire
Safety officers plea to parents following incidents last weekend
Firefighters are pleading with parents to make sure they know what their kids are up to this weekend after a spate of outdoor fires in Northamptonshire
Investigators believe more than 20 incidents were started deliberately in the county over two recent weekends — and they suspect youngsters of being involved in many of them.
All of the fires were minor and dealt with quickly. But safety officers point out they divert fire crews away from potentially more important and possibly deadly incidents.
Lisa Bryan, Prevention, Safeguarding and Partnerships Manager for Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “It’s important that we all do everything we can to help reduce the number of fires in our communities.
"Deliberate fires divert our resources away from real emergencies and put our crews in unnecessary danger.”
“We are asking parents and guardians to ensure that their children or young dependents understand the dangers of playing with fire and that they know where they are when away from home. And if anyone has any information about a deliberate fire-setting incident to let us know via FireStoppers.”
Fire logs showed 11 incidents county-wide last weekend (April 16 -18) which were put down as deliberate:
■ Three in Northampton — in Billing Brook Road, Mill Road East and Farm Field Court — involved burning refuse.
■ Another refuse fire had to be dealt with on Olympic Way, Wellingborough.
■ Three incidents where wood, branches and undergrowth had been set alight in Wharf Road, Higham Ferrers; Paddock Court, Northampton and Washbrook Road, Rushden.
■ One 999 call was to burning rubbish which had been fly-tipped on Mill Lane, Kings Heath.
■ Three more fires involved paper in Carey Street, Kettering; a wood pallet in Motala Close, Corby; and a large hay bale at Shotwell Mill Lane, Rothwell
That followed a surge in deliberate fires over the Easter weekend where fire crews were called to 12 separate incidents.
NFRS attends an average of 490 deliberate fire incidents in a full year — an average of less than ten each week.
Safety officers say anyone who witnesses a fire in progress should call 999 immediately, but these recent deliberate attempts to set light to refuse, grass, wood, shrubs, trees and even clothing are acts of anti-social behaviour and impact local communities.
Not only do they cost money, pollute the environment and destroy property, they could potentially take someone’s life.
■ FireStoppers is 100 per cent anonymous. You can either call on 0800 169 5558 or visit www.firestoppersreport.co.uk