Firefighters attending a call out to an arson attack came under a hail of bricks as they went to extinguish the fire.
In an attack which brought shame of the Savick estate, five firefighters came under attack from a group of youths, believed to be around 15 years old, at the scene of a pallet fire in Birkdale Drive, believe to have been started deliberately.
Shaun Walton, station manager at Preston Fire Station, said: “It seems unlikely that any of those who did this realises that they or someone they care for could be in need of our help at any time, whether to rescue them from a crashed car, a fire or any other emergency where we have to be there for them at a moment’s notice.”
The fire crew and engine was attacked as it drew up at the scene at 9.46 pm on Monday, with one brick hitting a side window. The crew set about extinguishing the blaze and called for police support.
Fortunately no-one was injured but the fire service says if the window had broken it would have put the vehicle out of service until repairs could be completed.
Firefighter Walton said: “Intentionally tying up our resources and putting our people at risk, people whose job is to save lives and property, is outrageous and a disgrace and we will make every effort to identify the culprits and bring them to justice.”
A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said: “Firefighters all too often meet with abuse as they go about their business extinguishing out-of-control ‘bonfires’ lit too close to buildings, fences and trees and would at any other time of year be recognised for what they are, as uncontrolled and dangerous rubbish fires.”
Coun Sam Gardiner, who represents the Larches ward, said: “It is certainly not big and it is not funny. It is downright dangerous when that fire service could be deployed to a genuine callout.
“If anyone saw what happened, we want them to contact the police as we want to avoid a situation where the police have to escort the fire service on every call out.
“If you were involved it is better to come forward now, before the police come knocking on your door.”
A police spokesman said, “Emergency service workers should be able to go about doing their job without facing incidents like these. We are looking into the matter and would urge anyone who witnessed the people throwing stones to contact us on 101.”