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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Fourteen Deliberate Grass Fires in Six Hours

13/04/2011

Firefighters spent over six hours attending and tackling grass fire incidents in the Parkhall area yesterday.

“This is totally unacceptable behaviour and I cannot believe these children would be so stupid as to deliberately start even one fire let alone 14."

Station Manager, Mick Daniels

Over 45 calls were received to report six separate incidents between 4.20pm and 10.20pm yesterday with some incidents involving multiple fires. Crews from Longton, the Hanley Targeted Response Vehicle (TRV) and a Landrover appliance from Leek tackled the fires.

Members of the public reported seeing youths walking around the Parkhall Hills area with petrol cans and setting grass fires on Parkhall Hills as well as land off Hulme Road, Parkhall Road and Weston Coyney Road.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service Station Manager, Mick Daniels said: “Crews were called to the incidents yesterday and put out a total of 14 grass and bush fires, started deliberately by a group of youths.

“This is totally unacceptable behaviour and I cannot believe these children would be so stupid as to deliberately start even one fire let alone 14. They were endangering themselves as well as members of the public and whilst various crews from Longton, Hanley and Leek were tied up putting out these fires they could have been needed at a serious emergency.

“These young people need to think for a moment - what if while they’re messing about starting fires, their parent’s house is also on fire and their parents are trapped? What if while firefighters are busy putting out a needless fire their parents are desperate for help but we’re tied up elsewhere? It could happen and then how would they feel?”

Crews left the last incident at 10.40pm last night. Anyone with any information about any of these incidents is asked to contact Staffordshire Police on 0300 123 4455 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has teamed up with Stoke City Football Club and Port Vale Football Club to highlight the dangers of deliberately starting grass fires. As part of the campaign, “Flames Aren’t Games,” posters featuring footballers and a firefighter have been distributed to schools across the county.

Countywide, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service attended 215 grass fires during the Easter holidays last year.