Firefighters attacked by missile-throwing yobs as they tackle Sunderland blaze

Firefighters were pelted with missiles as they tackled a blaze in Sunderland.

A crew from Rainton Bridge station came under attack when they attended a grass fire by the Washington Highway at Penshaw on Monday evening, February 1.

The crew and fire engine were called to the scene around 5.15pm and spent 15 minutes extinguishing the blaze, during which time they were attacked.

Fortunately nobody was injured.

Firefighters were attacked as they tackled a blaze in Penshaw

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service chief fire officer Chris Lowther said attacks on firefighters were bad enough at any time, but particularly so when everyone needed to pull together.

Crews were increasingly coming under attack when they were simply trying to do their hobs, he said: “Time and time again we are reporting incidents of antisocial behaviour in the region against our firefighters and their appliances.

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“Rainton Bridge firefighters came under attack when attending a grass fire at Washington Highway, Penshaw. These cowardly actions by small groups of people in the community are putting people’s lives in danger.”

He appealed to those involved to think about their actions: “Violence against any blue light emergency service officers is not acceptable, as they put their lives at risk on a daily basis to keep everyone safe and should never come up against mindless abuse,” he said.

“Fortunately nobody was hurt during the missile attack but this has happened at a time when we're asking people to show respect to all emergency services personnel especially when frontline crews are working under difficult circumstances due to the pandemic.”

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