Firefighters attacked twice in a week in Washington

Firefighters have come under attack twice in a matter of days when attending deliberate fires in Washington.

On Monday 1 March a crew from Rainton Bridge were pelted with glass and rocks while attending a grass fire at Washington Highway, Penshaw.

Washington firefighters were verbally abused and had glass bottles and branches thrown at them and the appliance by a group of 10 youths on Wednesday evening when called out to a tree on fire.

Chief Fire Officer at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service Chris Lowther said: “In a matter of days firefighters and appliances have come under attack twice in the same area next to Washington Highway.

“These cowardly actions by small groups of people in the community are putting people’s lives in danger.

“These attacks happened in close proximity to the A182, a busy dual carriageway, a stray missile could have hit a passing vehicle causing a road traffic collision and possibly the death of an innocent member of the public.

“Fortunately, nobody was hurt during these attacks but this has happened at a time when we’re asking people to show respect to all emergency services personnel, especially when frontline crews are working under difficult circumstances due to the pandemic.

“Violence against any blue light emergency service officers is not acceptable, as they put their lives at risk on a daily basis to keep everyone safe and should never come up against mindless abuse.”

Crews will enhance our preventative measures to reduce the opportunities for secondary fires being lit in this area but we need the support of the public, please do not leave loose rubbish lying around and secure your wheelie bin where possible.

We are working closely with Northumbria Police to identify those who are responsible and swift action will be taken.

Inspector Nick Gjorven, of Northumbria Police, said: “This kind of behaviour is totally unacceptable at a time when the majority of the North East is pulling together and has shown the community spirit that this region is famed for.

“We take these types of incidents seriously and are committed to taking swift action against those who act in a mindless and anti-social manner.

“Anyone who knows the identity of the individuals involved is encouraged to come forward and contact police via our website or by calling 101.”

If anyone is has any information about who was responsible for these attacks, you can report it 100% anonymously to Firestoppers at or on 0800 169 5558.