Fire Brigade attacked by youths during call out

The fire was started in the vicinty of the Spar shop on Fairview Road.
The fire was started in the vicinty of the Spar shop on Fairview Road.

The Fire Brigade has come under attack for the second consecutive week while attending fires in the Galliagh area of Derry.

Fire & Rescue officers were forced to withdraw from the estate on Sunday night after being pelted with stones.

The officers from Northland Road Fire Station had been called out to deal with rubbish on fire at the Spar Shop on Fairview Road.

A spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service confirmed there were no injuries to fire-fighters and no damage caused to the Fire Appliance.

Sinn Fein councillor for the area, Sandra Duffy said: “This is a small group of children and they need to understand the difficulties they are causing for people in the community.
“They have stoned buses, cars, set fires and then attacked the Fire Brigade, and we cannot have a situation whereby vital services such as buses and fire service can’t come into the area. This just cannot continue.”

The incident came as the Fire & Rescue Service appealed to the community to help stamp out deliberate fire setting and anti-social behaviour over Easter.

During Easter 2017, there were a total of 73 deliberate fires recorded in the Western region.

NIFRS is encouraging young people in particular to act as ambassadors by educating their friends about the serious consequences of deliberately starting fires, attacking firefighters or making hoax calls.

Gerry Lennon, Group Commander, said: “Setting fire to grass, bushes or rubbish is dangerous as these fires can quickly escalate which can pose a serious risk to life, property and the environment. This type of behaviour puts an additional pressure on our Regional Control Centre staff who answer 999 calls and our Firefighters who have to respond to these incidents.

“Attacking firefighters - people who are from your own local area and who work hard to protect the whole community – is totally unacceptable,” he added.