Firefighters in Wigan have slammed a hoax caller after they wasted 45 minutes searching for a non-existent blaze.
Overnight on Saturday, Wigan crews received a “malicious” call from a mobile number reporting a fire at a house in Marsh Green.
On arriving at Brabazon Place, the team were unable to find any evidence of a fire.
Watch manager Gareth Gray said: “Malicious or hoax calls like this are a waste of our time.
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“Our calls are then tied up so we cannot attend incidents where people may really need us.
“We wasted 45 minutes last night looking for a fire.”
Historically, borough emergency services have been plagued by hoax calls.
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An FOI submitted by Wigan Today last year showed that in 2017, 790 malicious or hoax calls were made to the police, fire and ambulance services by people in the Wigan borough.
That was the equivalent of more than two false calls made in the borough every single day.
The majority of the calls - 682 - were made to Greater Manchester Police, with 69 to Greater Manchester Fire And Rescue Service and 39 to North West Ambulance Service.
The fire service had 72 calls for malicious false alarms in 2013, dropping to 53 in 2015 but then rising to 54 and 69 in the following years.
Speaking at the time of the FOI, a spokesperson for the fire service said: “Although it is positive to see that hoax calls have gone down in the last five years more recently they have been on the rise again.
“Where some people may see it as a harmless prank they cause a real danger to the public of Greater Manchester.
"Our time is precious and being called out to hoax incidents takes up our time and can tie up vital resources when they may be needed elsewhere. Hoax calls are not a harmless prank, hoax calls cost lives.”