Fire fighters are warning young arsonists are putting lives at risk following a series of incidents in Peterborough last night.
Fire crews from Dogsthorpe and Stanground were called to seven fires in just five hours between 9pm and 2am. The fires were mainly in wheelie bins that had been pushed together and set alight although an abandoned sofa was set alight in another.
One attack took place outside a care home, while others were outside residential addresses.
Station Commander Lynn Betteridge from Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, who is stationed at Thorpe Wood Police Station to work with the Safer Peterborough Partnership on arson related incidents, said: “Although we cannot categorically say young people were responsible for all of the fires, in a number of them youths were seen running away from the fire or had been seen in the area. It is not necessarily the same people responsible for all of the fires, but police colleagues are linking the three in Paston.
“The people responsible may think that what they are doing is just a bit of fun, but they need to realise there are serious consequences of deliberate fire setting. Fire can spread quickly and someone may get seriously injured or killed as a result of their actions. Also, importantly, if our crews are having to attend nuisance fires like these, they may get delayed attending a real emergency where someone’s life is at risk – and it could be one of their friends or family members.”
Since the start of August there have been 31 deliberate outdoor fires across Peterborough and a number of incidents of antisocial behaviour relating to fire including young people playing with fireworks.
Police and fire officers are working with the Safer Peterborough Partnership to address the areas of the city where there have been multiple incidents of anti-social behaviour.
Lynn continued: “As fire and police services we are urging parents to speak to their children about the risks of playing with fire and deliberate fire setting. It is extremely dangerous and can quickly escalate to a situation that although may not have been intended, they were responsible for and would have to live with the consequences.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101.
The fires started last night were:
9.24pm – small fire near Heritage Park Primary School, Park Farm Way.
9.49pm – bin fire at Westwood Centre Park, Hampton Court, Westwood.
9.57pm – bin fire outside of a care home in the Herlington Centre, Herlington, Orton Malborne
10.57pm – rubbish on fire outside of a garage in Link Road.
12.54am – bins on fire in Anchor Court, Paston.
1.33am – wheelie bins on fire at rear of an address in Paynesholm, Paston.
1.51am - Sofa on fire in Sheepwalk, Paston.