Safety fears as Wigan youths use petrol to light nuisance fires
Youngsters have been reprimanded by firefighters for repeatedly setting fire to rubbish on a Wigan housing estate.
And worryingly, instead of heeding warnings from the emergency workers, they then used petrol to light another one.
A Wigan fire chief today called on parents to "get a grip" on their children's behaviour both in terms of the alarming safety issues surrounding playing with accelerants, lighters and fire, and also in terms of wasting 999 staff's time.
A crew from the Robin Park Road HQ was first called to nearby Fisher Close in Worsley Mesnes, at around 8pm on Thursday (December 2) after receiving reports that piles of waste were ablaze.
A group of youths looking on made no pretence of their involvement in lighting it, saying it was controlled burning.
The firefighters disagreed and quickly extinguished the flames before leaving.
However, less than an hour later they had been called on another 999 call to the same street to find that pallets and other pieces of wood had been ignited, this time using petrol. Again it was soon put out.
But watch manager Carl Gleaves said: "This behaviour is dangerous and it wastes emergency workers' time.
"The youths were not confrontational but they weren't shy either. They might have said it was controlled burning but it wasn't. Perhaps they were trying to keep warm on a cold night but I suggest they would be better keeping warm on their Xboxes at home.
"And when accelerants are being used, the danger levels increase. Things can go horribly wrong with petrol and lighters.
"Parents need to get a grip on where their children are and what they are doing. That is especially so when the fire service is losing pumps and people while getting busier."
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