Youths slammed for ‘dangerous’ half-term blaze spree

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Burnley youths have been slammed for sparking a series of “dangerous” blazes during the half-term holidays.

Fire chiefs have been called to a string of deliberate fires where rubbish, waste and bins have been torched by firebugs across the town.

Firefighters were called out to six separate blazes on parks and in back yards on Friday night alone and teenagers have been blamed for causing fire chaos during the Easter break.

Acting watch manager Lee Pickup, of Burnley Fire Station, said: “It is very dangerous to tie up fire engines on rubbish fires when there could be a house fire or something serious.

“We only have a couple of fire engines in Burnley and it stretches us if we are not available for a critical house fire when we are tied up like this. Fire engines have to come from other towns like Nelson.

“It could put lives at risk.”

Fire crews were called to a deliberate blaze in Colne Road just after 7-20pm last night. Two blazes were dealt with on a park in Sharp Street where a large group of youths were spotted.

A wheelie bin had been torched underneath swings causing significant damage to the play area.

Firefighters had to douse flames at incidents in Kime Street and Piccadilly Square between 10pm and midnight after rubbish was set ablaze.

Acting watch manager Pickup said: “We do have problems on that park. We have been attending the past few nights in a row for the same sort of thing. There are large groups of youths hanging around.

“We have tried to speak to them but they just run off.

“When it is a dry and warm night like last night the kids are out in their droves. It tends to cause more problems for us because they can be out causing chaos.

“If we could speak to them we could educate them how dangerous it is rather than letting them keep doing it.

“Ideally we need to get through to the parents.”

He added that skips and rubbish build up in back yards and backstreets can lead to deliberate fire setting.

For any concerns over a large build up of refuse, contact Burnley Council on 01282 425011 or if residents suspect any deliberate fires call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.