Hose slashed while crews tackled blaze

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A YOB deliberately slashed a hose that firefighters were using to tackle a tyre blaze on Bonfire Night.

The incident happened at around 9pm when a crew from Atherton were in the process of putting out the the fire on Melrose Avenue, Leigh.

It is so disappointing that whilst thousands of people were enjoying bonfire night as a family night a mindless minority were behaving with such shocking disregard for our staff

Coun David Acton

The incident meant crews were delayed for about 15 minutes while they replaced the hose, in which time the fire, which was close to houses and giving off black smoke, continued to burn.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said thousands of people had heeded safety warnings and enjoyed a happy bonfire night – whilst a mindless minority attacked firefighters and set fires across the county.

The service, which tweeted every incident live from its Twitter account, said more than 300 calls were received between 4.30pm and midnight despite heavy rain.

Among them, a number of wheelie bin fires, fires on waste grounds and a worrying number of fires set in children’s play areas right across the city region.

One of the worst incidents included one in Sabden Close, Miles Platting, where youths pelted firefighters from Blackley Fire Station with bricks after ripping fences down to start a fire close to an electricity sub-station.

Chairman of GMFRS Coun David Acton said: “It is so disappointing that whilst thousands of people were enjoying bonfire night as a family night a mindless minority were behaving with such shocking disregard for our staff.

“Firefighters work incredibly hard to keep people safe – especially on bonfire night – and to be greeted by violence, aggression and unnecessary danger in this way is completely outrageous.”