A busy bonfire night

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FIREFIGHTERS across the borough were kept busy on Guy Fawkes night, with up to 30 call-outs to bonfires.

Crews from Wigan Fire Station attended 12 incidents between 7pm and midnight on Monday.

Although there were no emergencies or injuries, nine fires were started recklessly by youths in open land and had to be extinguished.

Firefighters were called to unsupervised blazes in Montrose Avenue, Norley, Ashton Heath and areas in Standish Lower Ground and the town centre.

Crew commander Nigel Shepherd, of Wigan Fire Service, said: “We had lots of bonfire call-outs. Some events were organised by adults and we just gave general advice about safety.

“But the vast majority were in dangerous locations and were abandoned, so we suspect they were started by youths.”

Elsewhere in the borough, firefighters in Hindley were also busy, with several call-outs.

Watch manager Isaac Olurankinse said: “A lot of the time adults were in attendance and the fires were safe,

“We just had one in Belle Green Lane, in Ince, that we had to put out.”

Atherton Fire Service was also kept on its toes, as it turned out to seven bonfires - six of which were started by youths,

A spokesman said: “We were really busy with bonfires. Of the seven we went to, only one was safe.

“So we had to put six out and gave safety advice to the supervised event.”

Crews in Leigh had a hectic night of general bonfires.

Across the region, the 999 control room was busy from 5pm onwards, with emergency call operators at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service receiving around 100 calls an hour. The vast majority were for small fires that were causing concern to residents because they were out of control, had no adult supervision or close to property.

Station manager Lynn Roberts, who is also control manager, said: “It was a busy evening, with our control room receiving hundreds of calls.

“The reckless behaviour of a few people have caused our crews and local communities problems we all could have done without.

“Sadly there were still some injuries resulting from firework and bonfire misuse and we will continue to do all we can to prevent this in the future.”

Live updates on www.manchesterfire.gov.uk throughout the weekend from the control room proved extremely popular, with hundreds of comments from members of the public.