Residents in Rushden are being asked to stay vigilant after a spate of deliberately started fires in the town at the start of this month.
During the first nine days of April, Northamptonshire firefighters have responded to six deliberately lit fires in Rushden alone.
This included three in one evening on Sunday (April 9). The deliberately started fires were as follows:
- 9.30am on April 1 at Park Road, on the first floor of a partly derelict building
- 9.30pm on April 3 at the A6 Rushden bypass, Newton Road, where an amount of rubbish was set alight
- 2.10pm on April 5 at Spencer Park, Washbrook Road, where a small bag of rubbish was on fire near the tennis courts
- 6.10pm on April 9 at Eaton Walk, College Street, where six feet worth of fencing was set on fire as well as a quantity of refuse
- 10.55pm on April 9 at Eaton Walk, College Street, where another bag of rubbish was set alight at the same location as earlier in the evening, which is behind a local supermarket
- 7.00pm on April 9 at Washbrook Road, with hedgerow and brambles catching fire as well as some clothing and plastic items
Intentional fire setting is dangerous and even a small outdoor fire can spread quickly and become a serious risk to life.
Anti-social behaviour of this kind also affects local communities, costs money, pollutes the environment and could lead to a criminal record for anyone who was involved in starting the fire.
In order to prevent possible incidents of arson, residents and businesses are encouraged to do the following where possible:
- Store wheelie bins and recycling bins securely, away from the property and out of sight
- Only put bins out on collection day and bring them back in as soon as possible
- Clear any rubbish from gardens or behind sheds that could be targeted
- Contact the Local Authority for advice on bulky waste removal, as large items such as furniture or rubble can act as a fuel source for arsonists
- Also contact the Local Authority if you see any items which seem likely to be fly-tipped and need to be removed urgently
Andy Evans, Arson Reduction Officer for Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We would ask people to follow this advice and make sure that any items that could potentially be targeted for arson are either safely secured away from sight or removed where possible – this way we can reduce the opportunities that are available for people who may want to commit an offence of arson.
“We would also ask parents to remind children of the dangers of fire setting. A lot of young people don’t necessarily know the risks involved, and not only are they putting themselves in danger, but they are also potentially putting members of the public and firefighters at risk of being harmed as well.
“Even starting small fires can have a big impact in terms of harming your future career and job prospects if you have a criminal record. We work with schools to educate young people and raise awareness where we can.
“We would ask Rushden residents to remain alert and contact FireStoppers if they see anything.”
FireStoppers provides an anonymous way to report anything you know about deliberate fire setting. It’s managed by the independent charity CrimeStoppers. Reports of arson passed to FireStoppers will be investigated.
Call 0800 169 5558 or complete the online form at www.firestoppersreport.co.uk if you have any information about deliberate fire setting.
If an incident requires an emergency response, please call 999.