Cowardly youths pelt crews with fireworks

Cowardly youths pelt crews with fireworks

6 November 2007

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United Kingdom — Firefighters were attacked by young yobs armed withfireworks as they faced a deluge of emergency call-outs last night.

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service received more than 300 calls to incidentsas crews battled the Bonfire Night blitz which was responsible for nearly halfthe call-outs.

There were numerous incidents involving youngsters pelting firefighters with“projectiles” and a gang armed with fireworks attacked a crew in Canton,Cardiff.

A spokeswoman said: “Crews came under attack from youths with fireworksduring a call-out to a fire behind Boots in Cowbridge Road East, Canton,Cardiff, at 11.51pm. Earlier in the evening police were requested as back up toa bonfire callout at 7.35pm to Greenway Park, Trefaser Crescent, Rumney, becauseof the history of crews being attacked in that area.”

A callout to a grass fire just behind Hopkinstown Cricket Club, HopkinstownRoad, Maesycoed, also saw crews come under attack from youths with fireworks. InMerthyr Tydfil, firefighters were called to Roberts Avenue, Galon Uchaf – aplace notorious for attacks in the past – and crews were again pelted withmissiles just after 5pm.

Merthyr Firefighter Brendan Toomey, 45, who is also councillor for the ParkWard, said it was only a matter of time before someone was critically injured orkilled from the mindless attacks.

In the past, he has been shot at with an air rifle and, more recently, hadhalf a house brick hurled at him. “These incidents are happening on more of aregular basis. There are various initiatives South Wales Fire and Rescue Serviceand the police have tried to stamp out this behaviour, but it doesn’t seem tobe working. The fire service is a neutral organisation – we are there toprotect the public. But we are getting a bit of a hammering on the streets.

“I’m convinced a firefighter will be critically injured or even killedone day.”

In other call-outs, 13 appliances tackled a blaze at a four-storey disusedblock of flats in High View Road, Penarth. It was brought under control by7.45pm and police took over the investigation.

Just before 11am crews were also called to a unit ablaze at the Heads of theValley Industrial Estate in Rhymney. The building contained nine ice-cream vans,one large goods vehicle and a refrigerated vehicle which were significantlydamaged.

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