Firefighters praised after wheelie bin fire gets out of control

A salon owner has praised firefighters quick response for saving his livelihood – just as he enters the busiest period for his business.

Last Thursday (25th November) Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) received a call about a fire at the Jonathan Ridley salon in Pelaw.

At about 8:35pm it had been reported that a wheelie bin had been set on fire before the blaze had spread to the front of the salon on the corner of Shields Road and King Street

Two appliances from Byker Community Fire Station were deployed and arrived on the scene just 10 minutes after the initial call.

The crews immediately got to work using their breathing apparatus to get the blaze under control and prevent the blaze from spreading to the entire building and nearby properties.

Thankfully nobody was injured during the fire however the damage to the building and the salon was severe.

And today (Wednesday) the salon owner has thanked firefighters for their quick response to help save his business.

Jonathon Ridley, 33, has owned the Pelaw salon for 12 years and as he enters the busiest period for work is thankful his salon is still standing.

He said “The fire burnt through the wood of a boarded up window and also under the stairs that lead to a flat above the salon.

“Luckily the firefighters arrived before the fire got a chance to engulf the salon or the flat above.

“I don’t think those responsible realised how bad the fire would be from a bin. Imagine if the fire had got up to the flat, there could have been someone killed.

“I’m so grateful for the intervention of the fire service. The speed they were on scene saved lives and stopped the fire from spreading.”

He continued: “Thankfully, that means I will been able to trade as this is my busiest period but clients will have to put up with the smell of smoke until it gets fixed.

“I have totally washed the salon down and now the whole place needs redecorating, who knows how much that will cost.”

Group Manager Paul Thompson, Head of Service Delivery West, said the fire highlights that anti-social fire setting of wheelie bins can put lives at risk.

He said: “It’s a mistake to only think of wheelie bin fires as a nuisance relating to anti-social behaviour because this incident shows how dangerous these sorts of fires can be.

“We’ve seen a 15 percent rise in wheelie bin fires across our region over the last three months compared to this time last year and we ask our community to work with us to help tackle this.

“Don’t let your bin become a target for arsonists, store it away at night, ideally away from windows and doors, and only put it out on the morning of the collection.

“Make sure you bring it back in as soon as it’s emptied and help any of your neighbours who might struggle to do the same.

“If it wasn’t for the great response of our crews this fire could have caused significant damage and harm, however we were on scene in 10 minutes and able to get the fire under control quickly.”

Northumbria Police are investigating the circumstances around the fire and are appealing for anyone with information to contact them directly.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police via the ‘Tell Us Something’ page of their website or by calling 101 quoting crime number 131859X/21.