Man obstructs fire crew as toxic fumes pour from fire

Abused: Staff from Penwortham Fire Station were obtructed by Gornall
Abused: Staff from Penwortham Fire Station were obtructed by Gornall
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A man who caused an out of control fire letting off toxic fumes in a garden - then verbally abused fire officers as he tried to stop them putting it out -

Disgraced Anthony Gornall, 35, turned on staff from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, who were trying to help stop the blaze spreading at his property at Morris Place, Ribbleton, Preston.

A fire engine and crew from Penwortham Fire Station was called out at 9.27pm on July 23 to a report of black smoke pouring out of a back garden in Ribbleton, due to a fire.

A spokesman for the service said a woman answered door and confirmed there was a fire burning at the back of the property.

The crew manager asked if they could take a look at the fire and were taken by the woman to the back door.

Gornall was outside and demanded to know why they wanted to put the fire out.

It was explained that substances such as plastics on the fire creating toxic smoke made it necessary for them to extinguish it.

Mr Gornall resorted to verbal abuse towards the staff, turning aggressive and swearing at them.

He also ordered the crew off his property.

The police were called and Mr Gornall was arrested.

The fire was extinguished.

A Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “Rubbish was being burned in a back garden and the fire was creating a lot of black, toxic smoke that was potentially damaging to people and the environment. Our firefighters met with abuse when they went about the necessary business of extinguishing the fire.”

“The consequences of hindering the vital work of the emergency services can be dire and rightly carry a penalty in law which has justifiably been applied in this case. Justice was served.”

Gornall was found guilty of obstructing the fire service without reasonable excuse, during a trial held at Preston Magistrates’ Court.

He was fined £300 and ordered to pay a £30 surcharge and £150 costs.

It put him in breach of a conditional discharge from court imposed in February for being drunk and disorderly and possessing cannabis.