Youths slammed over spate of fires

Fire service
Fire service

Firefighters have hit out at groups of youths who are lighting fires on a regular basis and committing anti-social behaviour.

Crews say they have been called to the children’s play area at Montrose Avenue in Marsh Green on an almost nightly basis and are now calling for the incidents to stop.

This area really has become a hotspot for kids setting fires. We are going to Montrose Avenue most evenings at the moment

Watch manager Jim Clitheroe

Firefighters from Wigan station found a group of between 10 and 15 teenagers burning items including a mattress and a couple of wheelie bins at around 7pm on Sunday November 6.

They were also drinking, smoking and playing loud music and the police had to be called as they were causing a disturbance for local residents.

The fire crew was also called to a blaze involving mattresses, bins and a children’s buggy on a patch of open land off Comet Road nearby at about 10pm on Sunday.

Firefighters say they are having to spend too much time at both locations and dealing with nuisance fires is a waste of resources.

Watch manager Jim Clitheroe said: “This area has really become a hotspot for kids setting fires. We are going to Montrose Avenue most evenings at the moment.

“We were trying to explain the issues of us going out there when potentially there could be something more serious happening in the area.

“I know it’s affecting the children’s play area too because some of the swings have been set on fire. It’s just not fair.

“The grassed area on Comet Road is also a regular visit. The most recent fire had melted into nothing by the time we got there but a lot of the stuff they were burning is toxic and children play there.”