Fire appliance taken off the road with cracked windscreen after being attacked by disorderly teenagers

Disorderly teenagers have been warned they are putting lives at risk after peppering firefighters with stones at the scene of a fire.

At 9.08pm on Wednesday evening Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWRS) received a report of a bin fire in the Sulgrave area of Washington.

Crews from Washington Community Fire Station were on the scene in just seven minutes and were quickly able to extinguish the blaze.

But as the firefighters left the scene on Marlborough Road, a group of children began to throw stones at their appliance.

The attack did not cause any injuries but the windscreen of the appliance was cracked – meaning it had to be taken off the run for costly repairs.

Today (Thursday) the head of TWFRS has slammed the anti-social behaviour and called on the community to help educate those young people involved in disorder.

Chief Fire Officer Chris Lowther said: “Time and time again we are hearing reports of our crews coming under attack as they respond to incidents.

“Responding to a fire is challenging enough without having to deal with an attack from a group of teenagers who have shown no respect for their community.

“I have no doubt that they don’t understand the gravity of their actions and the impact an attack like this can have on our crews, and on the Service.

“Our firefighters should not have to go home at the end of their shift and tell their family that they have been subjected to an attack. It is completely unacceptable.

“I would call on parents, guardians, other children to educate the minority of teenagers involved in these incidents about their behaviour.

“Not only does it have a huge impact on our crews but this kind of behaviour will lead to young people being arrested by the police.

“The damage to the appliance means it has to be taken off the run to be repaired and that can impact on our ability to respond as quickly as possible to emergencies.

“We will continue to create the safest community in Tyne and Wear but we cannot do that without the support of the residents we seek to protect.”

TWFRS will support the Northumbria Police in any enquiries they carry out to identify the culprits so they can help educate them about their behaviour.

Fire crews will also be canvassing the area to speak to residents, hand out leaflets and reassure the community about prevention work taking place in the Sulgrave area.

Anyone with information about disorderly behaviour, deliberate fires or attacks on firefighters can report it anonymously to Firestoppers on 0800 169 5558.