Fire chiefs issue warning over arson attacks in South Yorkshire

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Fire chiefs are warning arsonists that they are putting lives at risk when they start blazes when firefighters are out on strike - leaving just volunteer crews to respond to emergencies.

The warning comes after a series of arson attacks on Monday and Tuesday when firefighters were taking industrial action over changes to their pensions and job security.

Volunteer firefighters were called to arson attacks on Wentworth View, Wombwell, Barnsley; Bellhouse Road, Firth Park, Sheffield; Farm Road, Kendray, Barnsley; Doncaster Road, Tickhill, Doncaster;

Dearne Road, Bolton-upon-Dearne, Barnsley; Eastern Drive, Arbourthorne, Sheffield and Everingham Road, Cantley, Doncaster.

A spokesman for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said: “Starting fires is reckless and costs lives. The maximum sentence for arson is life in prison and we’d encourage members of the public who know of

people starting fires to call Crimestoppers.

“Our 999 response service is severely depleted during strike periods. With fewer fire engines available, small, deliberate fires can put an additional drain on our resources by potentially diverting

fire engines away from more serious, life threatening incidents.”

Call 101 to report culprits.