Nuisance fires drain resources away from real emergencies

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A firefighter has warned about nuisance fires drawing appliances away from potentially life-threatening situations after a spate of incidents overnight.

Wakefield firefighters were called out seven times last night (Friday/Saturday) to two suspicious fires and five false alarms.

The crew was on its way to a shed fire in Warren Avenue, Portobello at 3.25 am when it spotted a load of plastic trays and bins on fire at the rear of Tesco Express on Barnsley Road.

A fire service spokesman said both pumps were en route to the shed fire a quarter of a mile away but one had to be diverted to the back of the Tesco store.

The shed was burnt to the ground.

Later they also had to tackle a car fire behind Kirkgate Post Office on 3.59am.

The spokesman added: “We are very thin on the ground. The cover you are getting in West Yorkshire is getting thinner and thinner because of the cuts imposed on them.”

He said the public purse was becoming smaller and that was a fact, not a political comment.

The spokesman added: “The false alarms and deliberate small fires, which we have to attend, are taking away resources from potentially life-threatening incidents.

“It raises the level of importance of us making sure we are available for the fire calls we need to attend rather than the deliberate small fires, which obviously take away a frontline appliance.”