Echo readers have reacted with fury after it was announced that firefighters were attacked as colleagues battled to put out a huge blaze at a former bingo hall site.
More than 50 firefighters were scrambled as flames tore through the building in The Green, Southwick, on Friday evening.
But at the same time as crews were dealing with the fire, a firefighter was punched in the face by a youth while attending a fire at the TKT Cosyfoam factory in Lambton Lane, Houghton, at around 7.40pm The injured officer suffered bruising to his cheek.
On the same evening, The following day, in Margaret Thompson Park, in Newcastle Road, officers also had stones thrown at them shortly before 8pm.
Readers took to the Echo’s Facebook page to speak of their anger at the news.
Billy Potts wrote: “There needs to be some really harsh sentences for anyone that attacks the emergency services when they are doing their jobs.”
Lou Lloyd said: “Disgusting, they should be ashamed of themselves.
“These officers put their lives on the line every single day for people including scumbags like these,doesn’t make any difference to them, a life is a life.”
Louise Green wrote: “Ambulance staff and hospital staff get assaulted on a daily basis not just on isolated events.
“Hope CCTV catches up with the culprits and they are dealt with accordingly.”
Claire Unwin said: “Absolutely disgusting behaviour these fireman are there to protect and help us.
“I hope these idiots get caught and prosecuted.”
Lisa Sanderson added: “That’s an absolute disgrace! They should be locked up.”
And Tracy Pickering added: “Shocking the firefighters were subjected to that.”
A man and a woman arrested on suspicion of arson following the fire at the bingo hall have been bailed by police pending further enquiries.