Crews from Hanley, Burslem, Kidsgrove, Sandyford and Newcastle had a busy night last night attending several incidents in and around the city, the majority of which were maliciously started fires.
"Derelict properties are not playgrounds and starting fires is not a game."
Station Manager, Mick Daniels
Crews from Sandyford, Burslem and Kidsgrove were called to Trubshaw Street in Longport at 11.30pm last night after a passer-by noticed smoke coming from a derelict property.
On arrival, firefighters were faced with a severe fire on the first floor of the mid-terraced property, which was in danger of spreading into the roof space and neighbouring properties.
Station Manager, Mick Daniels said: "The fire was quite obviously started deliberately, as it is a derelict property, there were signs that people had been in there and the fire was on the first floor with no other possible ignition source.
"We have been having problems with deliberately started fires for a while now in this area and the surrounding areas where there are derelict properties marked for demolition. Kids get inside and mess around, they think its fun but its actually incredibly dangerous and they are risking their lives just entering these properties, let alone starting fires.
"We spent over three hours at this incident which tied up three fire engines and there were other incidents going on nearby at the same time, meaning appliances from other stations further away had to attend instead.
"The fire has left the building even more unstable than before and whoever started the fire is lucky they were not trapped. With it being on the first floor of the property, the risk to firefighters was greater as they had to enter themselves to reach the fire and put it out.
"We are now increasing patrols in this particular area and if crews spot any kids hanging around they will stop and have a chat to them about fire safety. Derelict properties are not playgrounds and starting fires is not a game."
At 12.30am, two crews from Hanley had to attend an incident at nearby Port Street in Middleport after a man came home to find his house ransacked. Thieves had broken in to steal copper piping and in the process had cut through both the water pipes and the gas pipes, causing flooding and a potential fire hazard from the leaking gas.
Firefighters helped clear the flooding and turned off the water supply as well as ventilating the property. The incident was left with Staffordshire Police.
At 12.20am, two crews from Newcastle were called to Moffat Way in Silverdale where an outdoor bin had been deliberately set alight. The smoke had entered the nearby property and caused a 51 year old male occupant to suffer from smoke inhalation.
Crews spent almost two hours dealing with the fire and ventilating the property before leaving the incident at 2.15am.
Mick Daniels added: "These three incidents all over-lapped, meaning resources in the area were stretched. Had we had any other serious incidents overnight it may have resulted in a delayed response to them as we had seven crews already out dealing with emergencies."
The emergency calls in the North Staffordshire area didn’t settle down until later this morning, following a tumble dryer fire on Rawlins Street in Northwood which started accidentally and the release of a three week old puppy in Cliff Place, Burslem which had become trapped in a metal can.
The puppy was released by a crew from Sandyford who used small cutting gear, pliers and washing up liquid to free him. One crew from Hanley attended the tumble dryer fire, which had started accidentally.