People’s homes, businesses and their lives could be put at risk and it also takes our crews away from other incidents they could well be needed at.
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and Staffordshire Police are reminding people of the dangers to homes, businesses and lives caused by deliberately starting fires in bins after a spate of incidents in the Tunstall area of Stoke-on-Trent starting on Tuesday night (16 February).
In the space of just over one-and-a-half hours, firefighters were called to four incidents in neighbouring streets that, luckily, did not spread and lead to further damage or injuries.
The first incident saw a crew from Sandyford called to the rear of the Argos store on Butterfield Place where a commercial bin was well alight at about 10.50pm. One hose reel jet was used to extinguish the blaze.
At 11.15pm a Hanley crew was sent to Coronation Street where a fire had been started in a garden. Domestic rubbish had been set alight to the rear of a property and one hose reel jet was used to extinguish the blaze.
At 11.45pm, a fire was reported in Clanway Street. As the Hanley crew were still nearby after the Coronation Street incident they again attended. This time, wheelie bins had been set alight beside a property and the blaze had damaged the property. This was extinguished by 12.05am.
The same Hanley crew was then sent to Meir Street at 12.20am yesterday (Wednesday 17 February) after another bin was set alight next to a garage. Entry had to be gained to the garage by the crew but, luckily, the fire was extinguished before any damage was caused.
Watch Manager Matt Jones, whose Hanley crew oversaw three of the four incidents for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We can’t stress enough how dangerous this kind of behaviour is.
“We would like to remind everyone that when setting a fire in a bin or to a pile of rubbish like this it can quickly become a dangerous situation if it spreads.
“People’s homes, businesses and their lives could be put at risk and it also takes our crews away from other incidents they could well be needed at.”
Sergeant Darren Wood, from Staffordshire Police’s Northern Response team, said: “We were made aware of this series of incidents by Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and would like to reiterate their words over the dangers these actions could cause.
“We will pro-actively look to catch anybody going about endangering people with such recklessness and urge anyone who may have seen or heard anything to come forward and let us know to help find who was behind these.”
Anyone with any information should message Staffordshire Police on Facebook or Twitter quoting incident number 10 of 17 February, or alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.