Firefighters come under attack on call

Scene: Firefighters had missiles thrown at them in Mearley Road, Preston
Scene: Firefighters had missiles thrown at them in Mearley Road, Preston
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Firefighters were ‘lured’ into an ambush as they attended a hoax call.

Missiles were thrown at members of two crews dispatched to Mearley Road in Ribbleton, Preston, at 11.15pm on Friday, after reports of a house fire.

When crews arrived they could not immediately see a fire at the property, but while they searched, they became subject to a number of items being thrown at them and the fire engines.

Crews withdrew to a safer place while the officer in charge continued to search the rear of the property to find out if there was a fire.

Preston’s Station Manager Shaun Walton said: “Hoax calls can cost lives. We cannot be in two places at once.

“While we were dealing with this hoax incident we were not available to immediately deal with a genuine call – there would have been a delay while fire engines came from other stations.

“Fortunately no-one else needed our help at that time.”

He added: “While a hoax call in itself is wrong, it is despicable for our staff to be lured into a place where they are physically attacked for simply doing their job of keeping people safe.

“Thankfully on this occasion no-one was hurt and there was no damage to our fire engine”.

Police were called to the scene and two arrests were made.

Brookfield Councillor John Browne said: “It’s an absolute disgrace.

“There is no excuse at all to hurl objects at firefighters who have turned up to do their job. It’s simply mindless.”

He added: “It’s also a waste of official people’s time when they could have been needed to deal with a real incident at another site.

“At that time of night, you wonder whether drink has been involved.

“It’s idiotic and pointless, and whoever is responsible has not thought about the consequences at all.

“Anyone with information should call the police.”