'Setting fires to parks where children play is abhorrent': Fire service issue plea to parents after youths start fires in Preston park

The Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service have warned about the risks of fires after police say they were 'inundated' with calls about flames in public parks in Preston.

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 7:35 pm

Parts of Preston's Grange Park were left scorched after reckless youths started fires yesterday evening, March 21.

From 6 pm, fire crews and police say they were "inundated with calls" about youths "setting fires all over" the park on the east side of Preston.

The Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service have now spoken out against the "extremely dangerous and irresponsible" behaviour of youths with police warning parents they will be slammed with a fine if their child is caught.

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The news comes as a local resident from Moor Nook told the Post that fires are becoming the latest incidents in an ongoing spate of vandalism in the area. Last week, around 10 wheelie bins were reported stolen from outside homes and found torched in Grange Park.

A spokesperson from the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said: “Deliberately setting fire to any object is extremely dangerous and deeply irresponsible but to also set fire to a park where there could be young children playing is abhorrent.

“These people are not only putting themselves at risk, but also other people in the park and the firefighters attending the incident. They also cause fire engines to be unavailable for a period of time whilst the crews are extinguishing the fire.

“As a country, we are still in national lockdown and we shouldn’t be meeting up with a group of friends in a park. We not only encourage parents to ensure their children comply with the lockdown but also teach them about the dangers of starting fires.”

Bins with burnt rubbish were left by youths at Grange Park

Police shared pictures of the fire damage on social media and warned parents that they face £200 fines if children are caught flouting lockdown restrictions to engage in anti-social behaviour.

And a Lancashire Police spokesperson added: "We have been inundated with calls for kids setting fires and causing problems on Grange Park, Preston. We have also been receiving hoax calls. These pictures have been taken of the aftermath. Please remember we are in lockdown.

"If your child is caught out with their friends YOU will be the ones on the receiving end of a £200 COVID fine.

"Not only are they wasting our time, they are wasting Lancashire Fire and rescue and the NHS time.

The Lancashire fire and rescue service have branded the flames 'abhorrent'

"This park is to be enjoyed, not destroyed. You are responsible for your children."

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