Stoke & Staffordshire

Firefighters attacked by youths in Shelton

Firefighters were attacked by a group of more than 20 youths who threw fireworks, stones and bottles at them when they arrived to extinguish a fire.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service was called to a waste fire next to the Bell and Bear pub in Stoke Road, Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent, on Sunday.

When a crew arrived at about 1830 GMT they were set upon by youths who forced them back into the fire truck.

The fire area commander said it was a "shameful and cowardly attack".

Wayne Bowcock said: "The crew that attended the emergency call are all dedicated professionals who are proud that they save lives and property in Stoke-on-Trent.

'Spineless attack'

"They are all angry and shocked that they were subjected to such a spineless attack, particularly in an area where we have good relationships with the local community

"This shameful and cowardly attack really does make us wonder what the perpetrators would think of their behaviour if their friends or family ever have the misfortune to need the help of the fire and rescue service in an emergency."

The youths left when the fire service called for further back-up and police assistance. No-one was injured but the fire truck was dented by some of the make-shift missiles thrown at it.

The attack came seven days after firefighters in the same vehicle were attacked by youths in Bentilee, Stoke-on-Trent.

Meanwhile firefighters rescued three students from a house fire in nearby Leek Road, Shelton, on Monday.

The fire was reported at about 0700 GMT and had spread through the ground floor, first floor and roof space of the terraced house. One person was rescued from the roof at the rear and two others from the main house.

About 90% of the property was damaged. The cause is being investigated.

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