Firefighters forced to deal with yet another arson attack during lockdown



Firefighters have again had to issue reminders to people flouting lockdown rules to avoid beauty spots after dealing with an arson attack at a Stoke-on-Trent country park.

Four crews from Hanley and Longton were called to reports of a ‘large’ grass fire at Parkhall Country Park last night (April 15).

The blaze was well alight on their arrival at around 9.18pm, but it was quickly surrounded and rapidly brought it under control with the use of two hose reel jets.

The crews were at the scene for around an hour until the fire was extinguished.

An investigation to determine the cause has revealed the blaze was deliberately started.

In just the first two weeks of lockdown, the Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service had to deal with 53 deliberate blazes.

The fire service’s director of community safety, Howard Watts, said: “Fires caused deliberately or carelessly in the open can have devastating effects on the environment, but importantly endanger people’s lives and homes.

“Please help us to reduce demand at this time and ensure we are not over-stretched. Firefighters are working hard and we’re in the frontline with colleagues fighting against Covid-19, still responding to emergencies and helping to look after the vulnerable in our society.

“We would urge anyone who has information on suspected deliberate fires to call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. If you see a fire, or anyone starting a fire, please call 999 immediately.”

Abi Brown, the leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said: “I think this is all to do with the message around, ‘do you know where your kids are?’ I believe statistically the hardest group to keep in is young males.

“It’s obviously putting more pressure on the fire service at this time when emergency services are so stretched.”





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