SFRS and police issue warning after wilful fireraising in Aberdeen

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A 14-year-old girl has been charged in connection with wilful fireraising incidents

Firefighters and police officers have joined forces to urge the Aberdeen public to help prevent deliberate fires in the city.

The spring season typically sees an increase in the number of the incidents involving items of rubbish or areas of grassland, with emergency responders clear the fires endanger people and property.

Area Manager Duncan Smith, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s local senior officer for Aberdeen, said: “Deliberate fires risk lives and those who set them often have no idea how they will develop or who will be affected.

“A fire is out of control from the moment it begins and flames, heat and smoke can all kill.

“What begins as a small fire involving rubbish can potentially spread rapidly to homes and businesses, with the toxic smoke also polluting the local atmosphere and threatening people in the vicinity.”

He added: “Even if a fire stays small, putting it out means at least one of our crews would be unavailable to respond if a real emergency happened at the same time.

“When someone is trapped in a house fire or after a serious collision on the road it’s absolutely vital firefighters can quickly get to them.

“People who start fires need to ask how they would feel if someone was killed or suffered horrific injury because other firefighters had to be sent from further away to cover for those dealing with a needless incident.”

Police officers are stepping up patrols after several bins were set alight in the Mastrick and Northfield areas of the city. 

A 14-year-old girl has been charged in connection with wilful fireraising incidents outside Quarryhill Primary School, Northfield Swimming Pool and Alan Douglas Park on Tuesday, April 12, 2016. No one was hurt during any incident and the fires were extinguished quickly. 

Enquiries are continuing and anyone with information regarding any similar incident is being urged to contact police.

PC Catriona Denham, of the Mastrick Community Policing Team, said:  "Such mindless and irresponsible acts could escalate very quickly and easily, and it goes without saying that if these fire-raising incidents get out of hand the danger and damage they can cause could be immeasurable.

"As the nights get lighter and youngsters spend more time outdoors, I would urge parents to keep an eye on where their kids are going and where they are congregating. We are proud to live in areas where the vast majority of young people always act within the law and admirably, and it is always disappointing when a minority act so irresponsibly.

"I would ask that if anyone has any information regarding these or similar incidents, or anyone with any concerns, to contact the Police on 101 or if you wish to remain anonymous contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111."