FIREFIGHTERS have slammed youths in Warrington who they believe are the cause of a spate of recent deliberate fires.

Firefighters on red watch at Penketh Fire Station say there has been a rise in mindless fire setting on their patch, especially in Chapelford and Whittle Hall.

Such blazes are a drain on vital resources, as sending crews and fire engines to deal with them makes them unavailable should a more serious incident arise.

Reports of attacks and abuse on emergency services across the country while dealing with such incidents has also left firefighters worried they could be targeted.

“We have seen an increase in fires involving wheelie bins, park bins and rubbish, but if I am being honest, the culprits will use anything they can get their hands on,” said one firefighter based at the Penketh station.

“It is hard to put an exact figure on the numbers, but during mid-summer we had a busy period with these incidents becoming more common and the same has happened now, but there is a significant increase.

One of the fires firefighetrs from Penketh Fire Station have been called out to this year

One of the fires firefighetrs from Penketh Fire Station have been called out to this year

“Any incident of arson is serious, as they tie up resources and can potentially spread to properties.

“The cause of these incidents is believed to be youths in teenage years, and being bored and anti-social behaviour are always the main cause of these incidents.”

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has recorded numerous deliberate fires in Warrington over recent weeks, much to the anger of firefighters who are forced to extinguish them.

“From a firefighter’s perspective, these incidents are frustrating because we always want to help people in their worst possible moments, whether it be their house is on fire or they have had a road traffic collision,” the crew member continued.

“Attending incidents where youths have set fires in a local park take us away from potentially more serious incidents.

“There are many stories where firefighters get attacked and abused attending these incidents, where all we want to do is help.”

Penketh Fire Station (Image: Google Maps)

Penketh Fire Station (Image: Google Maps)

For firefighters working in the town, the message is clear.

“Our message to the public is a simple appeal to stop. These incidents tie up resources from real emergencies,” the firefighter added.

“Setting deliberate fires is a criminal offence, and we are working closely with Cheshire Police to eradicate this problem.

“The dangers of these incidents are the potential to spread, as if a wheelie bin is set on fire in front of a house, then this can very easily become a house fire.

“The public can remain vigilant by keeping their bins locked away – out of sight, out of mind – and naming individuals who they believe are causing these incidents.”