Deliberate fires cost Cleveland brigade £11m

Wood recycling fire at Port Clarence Image copyright Cleveland Fire Brigade
Image caption A nine-day fire at Port Clarence in March 2013 cost £750,000 to deal with

Arson attacks on Teesside cost almost £11m to deal with last year.

Latest figures from Cleveland Fire Brigade show there were 2,681 fires set deliberately over the 12 months to March.

Brigade director of community protection Phil Lancaster said the majority were started by young people.

"It diverts our vital resources away from dealing with the more serious incidents. We can't be in two places at once," he said.

Over Easter fire officers will be monitoring a number of areas including Eston Hills, the Tilery area of Stockton, Norton and Hartlepool's Old Cemetery Road.

The brigade is encouraging parents to know where their children are and to look out for signs of fire setting behaviour, such as the smell of smoke on their clothes.

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