Fire chiefs 'appalled' after yobs attack crew at Sheffield arson scene

Grimesthorpe Road, Sheffield. Picture: Google
Grimesthorpe Road, Sheffield. Picture: Google

Fire chiefs have blasted callous yobs for attacking a crew while they were attempting to put out a blaze - just one in a series of shocking incidents over the weekend.

Arsonists had set a series of fires in Grimesthorpe Road, Grimesthorpe, at about 9.30pm last night.

The damaged window.

The damaged window.

Firefighters from Sheffield Central Station were called out to deal with the incident when they were surrounded by youths who pelted the fire engine with objects.

The attack caused serious damage to the fire engine smashing a window pane and put the vehicle out of action on Bonfire Night - known as one of the busiest nights of the year for the brigade.

Thankfully no firefighters were injured but they had to temporarily withdraw from fighting the blaze until police arrived to make the scene secure.

A fire service spokesperson accepted it is a possibility the yobs set the initial fires to lure the firefighters out so that they could attack them.

Tony Carlin, an area manager at South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, said: "We are absolutely appalled that our firefighters appear to have been targeted in this way.

“Attacks like this place the safety of our firefighters, and the people they are trying to protect, at risk."

The attack was among more than 500 incidents that South Yorkshire Police were called out to deal with within a matter of hours on Saturday night, known as Mischief Night, while Bonfire Night the following day also kept 999 staff busy.

Yobs threw fireworks at police officers, passing traffic and business premises in Firth Park last night before officers managed to confiscate the projectiles.

Vandals also threw a lit firework into the Royal Oak pub in Earsham Street, Burngreave, causing damage to the carpet at 7pm.

They posted a lit fireworks through the letterbox of a home in Fox Street, Neepsend, while stock at a supermarket was damaged when they did the same thing at a store in Spital Hill at 7.50pm.

Other incidents included youths throwing eggs at people in Ecclesall Road, fireworks being thrown at people leaving a pub in Sothall and yobs smashing a taxi window which injured the passenger in Southey Green.

Over in Doncaster, yobs were spotted throwing stones at cars in Church Street, Thorne.

A stray firework sparked a blaze in a coal bunker in Markham Road, Edlington, at 6.50pm on Saturday and another stray firework set fire to a shed roof in Fourth Avenye, Woodlands, later the same night.

Arsonists also set fire to bags of litter in Sheffield High Street at 4.15am this morning.

It also follows a previous incident involving a group of masked men throwing fireworks in Stainforth Road, Darnall, on Halloween night, Tuesday, between 6.30pm and 9.30pm.

An investigation has now been launched to identify those responsible for attacking the firefighters.

Firefighter Carlin said: "Thankfully, this type of incident is extremely rare in South Yorkshire and it is only a tiny minority of people who would ever consider acting in such an irresponsible and dangerous way.

“However, even one attack on a firefighter is completely unacceptable – and we will work alongside the police to fully investigate any attacks and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice.”

If you have any information about this attack please call 101, quoting police incident number 1221 of November 5.