Busy Bonfire Night for Northumberland fire crews

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service received almost three times as many Bonfire Night calls as last year, with two incidents of missiles being thrown at crews.

Tuesday, 7th November 2017, 8:05 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 12:01 pm
Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service

Firefighters across Northumberland were faced with a steady stream of Bonfire Night call-outs on their busiest night of the year.

While thousands of residents around the county enjoyed safe and spectacular firework displays, fire crews had a busy night attending to incidents created by a small minority of irresponsible individuals.

The fire control room took 96 calls on Sunday compared to 36 the previous year.

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Crews attended 19 bonfires that were considered to be dangerous as well as several other incidents, including bin fires, a multiple vehicle fire in Blyth and a vehicle fire in Berwick. Of the calls to fire control, 14 were deemed to be false alarms and no action was required.

Unfortunately, there were two incidents where fireworks were thrown as missiles at crews - one at Simonburn Lane in Ashington and one at The Oval in Blyth.

Paul Hedley, the chief fire officer for Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, had a strong message for those who had turned on firefighters trying to keep communities safe.

“It is so disappointing that while thousands of people were enjoying bonfire night as a family night, a mindless minority were behaving with such shocking disregard for our staff," he said.

“Our firefighters have a difficult job and work incredibly hard to keep the people of this county safe and to be greeted with aggression and unnecessary danger in this way is absolutely disgraceful.

“We will not tolerate attacks on our firefighters in any form and those responsible should know that we take these criminal actions extremely seriously and we will work closely with Northumbria Police to try tonensure they are identified and held to account.”

Northumberland County Councillor John Riddle, cabinet member for the Fire & Rescue Service, said: "With Bonfire Night falling over the weekend, we expected a busy night and our service was fully prepared with 18 fire appliances on stand-by and a full complement of frontline crews and operations control personnel. The isolated incidents where our fire crew were targeted were completely unacceptable and very concerning.

“I’d like to pass on our thanks to all the event organisers and community members for their cooperation and support in creating what was an extremely enjoyable Bonfire night for the majority of people.”