Warning after bonfire started in South Shields' South Marine Park
Fire-starters have been warned they put their safety and future at risk by setting deliberate blazes after a bonfire was set up in a South Shields park.
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service was called to a wooded area in South Marine Park by concerned members of the public reported teenagers gathering logs for a fire, with a crew from South Shields Community Fire Station arriving to put it out.
Following the incident, at 7.50pm on Tuesday, April 20, the service warned those who start fires could cause themselves, others and animals harm, as well as face the consequences of their actions in years to come.
It also stressed the incidents divert resources away from other emergencies.
Richie Rickaby, Area Manager for Community Safety, said: “Any form of antisocial behaviour being carried out by young people in the local community isn’t acceptable and won’t be tolerated by the fire service or any other organisation from the emergency services.
“For the incident in question at South Marine Park, a bonfire was lit in a public place where people walk their dogs and leisure activities are enjoyed by users of the park.
"Any form of arson is dangerous, not only for passers-by but also for the perpetrators involved as people’s clothes can easily catch fire if flammable liquids or flames from the fire get out of control.
"Also at this time of year when we approach the summer months the dry conditions can mean any fires can worryingly spread quickly to other areas.
“We work with our partner organisations to engage with the local community to educate them about the dangers of arson, and the repercussions of the young people’s actions.
"Also if our crews are dealing with arson fires then we cannot be elsewhere responding to lifesaving incidents."
A South Tyneside Council said its youth workers regularly engage with groups in the evening and will pick up on the matter.
Antisocial behaviour can be reported to police on 101, South Tyneside Homes on 0300 123 6633 Monday to Friday 8.30am to 6.30pm or the Customer Contact Centre on 0191 427 7000.
People can email [email protected] or text ASB and a message to 07786 200802.
Information about fires can be passed to Firestoppers anonymously on 0800 169 5558 or online via www.firestoppersreport.co.uk