Commander urges arsonists to stop wasting firefighters time and asks parents to 'speak to your children'

Fire crews and police officers in Wisbech are warning about the dangers of setting fires in disused buildings following a series of arson attacks in the town.

Thursday, 11th May 2017, 8:56 am
Updated Thursday, 11th May 2017, 10:45 am
The scene of the arson in Wisbech
The scene of the arson in Wisbech

Police patrols have been stepped up in the Meadowgate Lane area as firefighters have dealt with seven fires there since April 27, all set alight inside of the disused buildings. The latest fire occurred on Tuesday afternoon, tying up four fire engines for over three hours.

Crew Commander Ian Cuthill said: “The people responsible for starting these fires have been very lucky they have not been injured themselves. Fire can spread quickly and cause buildings to become unstable and collapse. They also have asbestos in them making them even more hazardous if they are disturbed.

“We would urge parents to please speak to their children and remind them about the dangers of fire-setting and being in disused buildings in the first place as they are not safe places to play. What can start out to be a bit of fun can have tragic consequences. We do not know it is young people involved but we want to make sure the message is given to everyone.”

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Ian added: “There is also another consequence that people who deliberately start fires do not think about and that’s if our fire crews from Wisbech are tied up at a fire that has been deliberately started, it will take longer for someone to get a fire crew if they have an emergency where someone’s life may be at risk.”

Chief Inspector Dave Murphy from Cambridgeshire Constabulary added: “We are increasing patrols in the area in an effort to target those responsible for the recent arsons. Apart from the obvious risk to people and property these incidents are understandably causing a great deal of concern within the local community.

“We are working closely with our fire service colleagues and we will ensure that anyone caught committing offences are prosecuted and brought before the courts.”

Anyone with information about who is responsible for the recent fires in Meadowgate Lane should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.