Staffordshire Fire and Rescue are urging members of the public to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity immediately after a deliberate grass fire almost spread to nearby homes.
We’re urging the public to be extra vigilant while the hot dry weather conditions continue. Please report any suspicious activity to police immediately, if you think someone is starting a fire call 999 and if you have any information about those responsible for setting fires please call police on 101.
Firefighters were called to reports of a fire on land between Mow Cow Road and Dales Green Road in Mow Cop at 7.42pm last night, Wednesday July 25.
Appliances from Hanley and Sandyford attended initially, handing over to colleagues from Kidsgrove and Longton during the night. This morning (Thursday July 26) fire engines from Hanley and Biddulph remain at the incident damping down, using thermal imaging equipment to monitor for hotspots.
The fire covered approximately 100 metres by 40 metres (one acre) of gorse land and during the incident firefighters used three main jets and three hose reel jets to tackle the blaze, which came within 10 metres of a residents home.
Two residents, a 19-year-old woman and a 30-year-old man, suffered from smoke inhalation and were given oxygen therapy at the scene by firefighters. Both were checked over by ambulance at the scene, and the 30-year-old man, who suffers with asthma, was taken to Royal Stoke University Hospital for further checks.
Carl Mason, Station Manager, said: “This week we launched our Flames Aren’t Games campaign and this incident highlights just how serious and dangerous it is to start fires deliberately.
“The incident was very challenging for firefighters due to steep rock faces and rugged terrain which limited access. The wind conditions meant the fire spread rapidly and the crews had to quickly find the best location to fight the fire with nearby access to water.
“At one point the fire was within 10 metres of a residents home, where the rock face met their garden boundary and two people suffering smoke inhalation - with one needing hospital treatment.
“The local community really rallied together and were dousing the gardens and boundaries with water to keep the flames at bay. While we never encourage anyone to tackle a fire themselves, we would like to thank them for their support and the brave actions they took to protect their homes. We’d also like to thank colleagues from Staffordshire Police who helped residents stay safe during the incident.
“We’re urging the public to be extra vigilant while the hot dry weather conditions continue. Please report any suspicious activity to police immediately, if you think someone is starting a fire call 999 and if you have any information about those responsible for setting fires please call police on 101.”
More information on this year’s Flames Aren’t Games campaign, which features a ‘found footage’ style video, can be found here.