Firefighters battle arsons

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FIREFIGHTERS across South Yorkshire and north Derbyshire have tackled a spate of blazes started by arsonists.

In one of the most serious incidents a dog and five chickens died after the stable block they were sheltering in was set alight.

The animals perished after three of seven stables on land off Intake Lane, Cudworth, Barnsley, were deliberately set alight.

A number of cows were also sheltering in the stables, but they were saved.

Firefighters were alerted to the blaze at 1.45am on Sunday and spent two-and-a-half hours at the scene.

And in another arson attack in Barnsley a corn field was destroyed. The crop on Laithes Lane, Athersley, was set alight at 1pm on Sunday and it took firefighters around three hours to extinguish the flames.

A derelict pub in Barnsley was also found engulfed in flames after an arson attack.

The former Royal Arms on Wakefield Road, Smithies, was found alight at 1.25am on Sunday.

At the height of the blaze there were four fire engines tackling the flames which ripped through the two-storey building.

Crews were also tied up dealing with a Vauxhall Corsa found burning on Norfolk Road, Norfolk Park, Sheffield, after it was deliberately set alight.

And firefighters were also alerted to a blaze on Shirehall Road, Shiregreen, after a shed and garage went up in flames when they were set alight.

In north Derbyshire firefighters had to put out a rubbish blaze on Brimington Road, Tapton, Chesterfield.

Crews used water backpacks and beaters to put out the flames, which had taken hold on a patch of open ground.

A small quantity of rubbish was also set alight on Prospect Drive, Shirebrook.

Firefighters in South Yorkshire have issued a number of recent warnings about dangers of arson attacks.

They have repeatedly warned that fires run the risk of spreading – putting lives and properties at risk.

And they have stressed that every time a fire engine is called out to deal with an arson attack it is out of action and unable to respond to other genuine emergencies.

n To report arsonists call police on 0114 2202020.