Houses burned as fireworks shot at emergency responders on chaotic Bonfire Night

Fire crews around the country reported attacks throughout the evening

Liam James
Friday 06 November 2020 10:56
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Nelson, Brierfield and Barrowford Police van attacked with fireworks

Fire brigades across the UK were stretched as they dealt with rogue firework handlers roaming the streets on Bonfire Night, with some crews even facing attacks from the public.

One incident in Hull left two houses burning after a firework was thrown through a letterbox, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service have confirmed.

Though all people living in the properties escaped, with only one man needing treatment for smoke inhalation, a dog and two cats were killed in the fire.

Another two homes were set on fire in North Lanarkshire when a stray firework landed on the roof of a semi-detached property in Motherwell, according to local reports.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service sent three fire engines to tackle the blaze and said crew remained at the scene on Friday morning.

Scotland's fire service said they handled more than 1,100 calls between 3:30 and 11:30pm on Thursday.

Fire crews responded to around 511 bonfires across Scotland, including a gorse fire on Arthur's Seat above Edinburgh.

There were 13 reported attacks on firefighters throughout the evening, though no injuries were reported.

Crews responded to a gorse fire on Arthur’s Seat above Edinburgh

Assistant chief officer Stuart Stevens, who is responsible for service delivery, praised fire crews for their work on one of the busiest nights of the year but condemned the attacks.

“Attacks on emergency service workers are completely unacceptable,” Officer Stevens said.

Fire crews in Merseyside, Tyne and Wear, Scotland, Wales, Northumberland and Humberside also reported attacks. Emergency responders were hit with items including fireworks, stones and bricks, according to the National Fire Chiefs council. 

“This type of behaviour not only prevents our crews from bringing any emergency to a safe and swift conclusion, but it can impact on our emergency service colleagues, including the police, when they must escort us at the scene.”

Elsewhere in the UK, fireworks were shot at police officers on duty.

Police in Lancashire were targeted with fireworks on more than one occasion throughout the night.  

Fireworks sprayed a moving police car in Islington

One incident in Brierfield saw several rockets fired at officers waiting in a parked police van.  

A spokesperson for Nelson, Brierfield and Barrowford Police said: “Whilst officers were awaiting for the fire service to extinguish a fire on Tunstill Square a group of individuals thought it would be appropriate to target the police with rockets.”

A 17-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of arson and remained in custody as of Friday morning.

Fireworks were shot at officers as they waited in a parked van

In Accrington, officers in the Avenue Parade area said they were “greeted by groups of kids who started to throw fireworks”.

In London, several videos appeared to show groups of young men shooting fireworks at one another on the streets.  

In Hackney, other pedestrians were seen shuffling nervously as youths exchanged fire across the street.

One video shared by an RSPCA worker appeared to show fireworks being shot at a police car in Islington.

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