Huge fall in arsons hailed

After Dark at Don Valley Bowl......
After Dark at Don Valley Bowl......
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Firefighters have hailed a massive drop in the number of arson attacks around South Yorkshire on Bonfire Night.

Historically, the time of year has been one of the busiest, but crews have been working in schools and communities to get the message through that dealing with petty arsons can keep crews from more serious emergencies.

The number of arson attacks has fallen by more than 80 per cent overnight on Bonfire Night from 2007 to 2013.

Station manager Steve Wood, from South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, said: “We are doing a large amount of education work.

“When we explain to young people their own families could be at risk as a result, the penny does drop.”

Firefighters have also been urging people to attend public events rather than hold their own bonfires.

■ Bins were set alight in streets in Sheffield, Barnsley and Rotherham on Bonfire Night – while arsonists also set cars and a garage on fire.

Bonfire Night fires involving wheelie bins included: Carlton Street, Cudworth, at 7pm; Wesley Avenue, Swallownest, at 8pm; Fell Brig Road, Arbourthorne, at 9pm;, Linley Lane, Frecheville, at 9.50pm; Gaunt Road, Gleadless, at 10.50pm; and White Thorns Drive, Batemoor, at 1.45am.

Other deliberate fires that night involved a garage on Library Close, Wingfield, Rotherham, at 1.45am. The building was filled with furniture and fire crews managed to prevent the fire spreading.

A Toyota MR2 car was set alight on Masters Crescent, Sheffield Lane Top, at 8.30pm.

Non-deliberate fires attended on the night included out-of-control bonfires at: Buchanan Road, Parson Cross, at 8.30pm; Wulfric Place, Manor, at 10.20pm; Upwell Hill, Grimesthorpe, at 9.10pm; and Westland Road, Westfield, at 11pm.

Crews were also called to a shed fire on Tuxford Crescent, Cudworth, on Tuesday, at 7pm, and to Earl Marshal Road, Grimesthorpe, at 5.30am yesterday, where an Audi car had an engine fault.