Golf balls used in attack on firefighters as they battle a blaze

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service officers were attacked while dealing with a blaze.
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service officers were attacked while dealing with a blaze.

Fire chiefs have warned yobs are putting lives at risk by assaulting crews as they work.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service has said its crews were attacked once again as the officers worked to deal with an incident.

It follows on from an attack on firefighters as they dealt with a fire in New Herrington last month.

In the latest disturbance, it says five youths deliberately set fire to woodland on Sundew Road, in Beacon Lough in Gateshead, to attract firefighters to the scene.

When officers arrived, they attacked them with stones and bottles.

A spokesman for the service said: "Luckily the firefighters involved were not injured but the fire engine was damaged during the attack.

"Close by on Coltsfoot Gardens in Gateshead, youths set fire to rubbish and attacked firefighters with golf balls while they were trying to extinguish the fire.

"These incidents follow a number of attacks in Sunderland last month where one firefighter suffered facial injuries.

"We have evidence and we are prosecuting those involved.

"We are seriously concerned about the sharp increase in attacks.

"It is totally unacceptable that firefighters are being obstructed in carrying out their duties and subjected to physical or verbal abuse.

"When crews are in attendance at deliberately set fires, it prevents them attending more life threatening incidents.

"This could involve someone’s family member or friend and it is putting lives at risk.

"We have clear footage from the incident on Coltsfoot Gardens and we are working with the Police to prosecute those involved."

One man has been charged following the incident which happened in Railway Terrace North in New Herrington on Wednesday, April 5, as crews from Sunderland Central, Farringdon and Rainton Bridge dealt with a house fire,

Clinton Allan Barnes, 34, from the Houghton area, has been charged with common assault in relation to the incident and is set to appear at Sunderland Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, May 9.

Northumbria Police also confirmed that two people have been reported for summons

Anyone who has information about the assaults over the weekend should get in touch with police on 101 as soon as possible.