Calderdale firefighters attacked and verbally abused by youths

ATTACKS on Calderdale firefighters have continued over the summer, with fire crews being verbally abused and attacked by homeowners.

On Friday the West Yorkshire Fire Authority received an update on activities the force has been involved in the first four months of the financial year, including major fires, fatal incidents and attacks on crews.

Freighters in Halifax

Freighters in Halifax

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Almost a third of the attacks on firefighters to have happened in West Yorkshire happened in Bradford, with rocks thrown on three occasions and other “missiles” thrown twice.

On May 12 at 2.30am crews attended a dwelling fire on Slade Lane in Rastrick. The officer in charge of the incident was physically attacked by the occupier.

On July 1 at 7.45pm whilst attending a large grass fire in Canterbury Crescent, Halifax crews were subjected to verbal abuse by youths.

Among the biggest fires to have taken place in West Yorkshire in the four month period was a huge blaze at Crompton Mouldings, Brighouse on July 4. It led to 76 firefighters being called out. Investigators determined the cause was combustibles placed too close to an industrial oven.

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The biggest response to a fire in the four month period was when a warehouse at DS Smith Recycling in Birstall caught fire. In the hours after the blaze started 92 firefighters were called to deal with the incident.

Detailing fatal fires that have taken place in the four month period, the report looks at one incident in Menston. On May 22 a 59-year-old man was killed when his wheelchair caught fire. He had been burning grass in his garden, and accidentally dropped a naked flame onto the seat of his wheelchair, which in turn set fire to his clothing.

He was flown by air ambulance to Pinderfields Hospital where he died later that evening.

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