South Shields fire cadets raise alarm after blaze at Temple Park in South Shields
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service officers based at the town’s station tackled the fire after the team saw the fire at Temple Park as they were getting set to practice one of their drills.
The incident, on the night of Thursday, January 30, is one of at least six grass fires the service has responded to in the last month, with four of those in the last week.
It is thought a number of other, smaller, fires may have happened in recent weeks, but burned out before the expertise of the crews were called in.
The officers have praised the fire cadets for their swift action, with the team calling into the station to raise the alarm as they then saw the station’s Red Watch turn out to deal with the fire.
They then picked up their drill, which saw a more experienced cadet showing two newer ones how to ship a hydrant safely.
The incidents come after safety concerns were raised about reports of youths setting trees alight with “blow torches and petrol” at the park, with concerns about the danger the young people are putting themselves and other in, as well as the damage they have caused to the land and harm to the environment.
South Shields Station Manager Trevor Sturrock said: “These fires are extremely damaging for our community.
“The green spaces that they are destroying are not only there for residents to enjoy, but they’re also home to local wildlife.
“Most importantly, our crews can’t be in two places at once.
“I would urge all parents to talk to their children and explain that dealing with deliberate fires could affect our ability to respond to an incident where lives are at risk.”
“As always, we encourage anyone with any information on deliberate fires to report it anonymously at www.firestoppersreport.co.uk or by calling 0800 169 5558.”
The service has also urged people to call 999 if they spot a fire, no matter how small.