Investigation launched after arsonists set huge stretch of fence on fire on edge of Sunderland estate

Arsonists set light to a long stretch of fence on Sunderland parkland popular with dog walkers.

Monday, 6th January 2020, 6:44 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 1:16 pm
A photo taken by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service of the fence blaze as it raged.

Crews from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service were called to land off Estuary Way, near the Riverside Park in South Hylton, after a 50-metre section of plastic fence was torched.

One of the service’s target response vehicles from Sunderland Central Fire Station called for back up from appliances based at Rainton Bridge and another from Washington, as they worked to get the blaze under control using hose reels.

It has since been confirmed the fire, which was a short distance away from Claxheugh Rock and the backs of the River Wear, was started deliberately.

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The fire could be seen from nearby streets, as seen in this photo taken by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.

A spokesperson for the organisation said: “That's three vehicles and three crews dealing with an incident that didn't need to happen - what if they were needed to save lives elsewhere?

“Deliberate fires put people at risk.

“If you know who started this fire, please report them.”

The service has said anyone who would like to pass on information anonymously can do so via Firestoppers, which has been set up with the backing of Crimestoppers to help support inquiries into suspicious blazes.

The incident happened at 6.31pm on Friday, January 2, with the crews spending 40 minutes on the scene as they ensured the blaze was put out.

Details which can help the ongoing investigation into the attack can be passed on via www.firestoppersreport.co.uk or by calling 0800 169 5558.