Firefighters praised for life-saving response to Gosforth arson attack

Fearless firefighters have been praised for saving lives by preventing a fire at a disused building from spreading to a residential street.

Shortly after 6.30pm on Wednesday emergency services were called to a fire at a disused care home on Hollywood Avenue in Gosforth, Newcastle.

Fire Control staff at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) immediately deployed crews to the scene.

They arrived within just five minutes and quickly began to battle the flames that were tearing through the roof of the three-storey building.

The fire was eventually extinguished and Northumbria Police have since launched an arson investigation as it is believed the fire was started deliberately.

Four teenagers were arrested on Wednesday evening but police have confirmed they have since been released under investigation.

Today (Thursday) Group Manager Steve Burdis, who oversaw the response to the fire for TWFRS, has praised the firefighters for their life-saving response.

He said: “Our first crews were on scene in just five minutes to get the blaze under control and prevent it from spreading to neighbouring residential and commercial properties.

“In total five appliances, as well as our specialist Aerial Ladder Platform (ALP) vehicle, were in attendance and were eventually able to extinguish the fire.

“Thankfully nobody was reported to have been injured but a cordon remains in the area until the building can be deemed structurally safe.

“The roof of the building in particular is unstable and we would ask the public to respect the cordon and avoid approaching the building in question.

“I want to say a huge well done to our Fire Control staff for their initial response, and to the crews from Gosforth, Newcastle Central, Byker, West Denton and Marley Park who attended the blaze.

“Thanks to their hard work and expertise, the fire was brought under control and it did not spread to neighbouring properties. Their actions saved the lives of members of the public.

“Northumbria Police are treating the incident as arson and have confirmed that a number of arrests have been made. We will continue to support them with their investigation.”

Officers from Northumbria Police are continuing to appeal for anyone with information about the incident, or who saw anything suspicious in the area, to get in touch.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Northumbria Police ‘Tell Us Something’ pages of their website quoting reference NP-20220817-0845.

You can also report information anonymously to the independent charity FireStoppers on 0800 169 5558.