Last year, MFRS attended 3,531 deliberately set fires. These ranged from rubbish and wheelie bin fires to cars, houses and other property being set alight.
As well as the threat to life and damage sustained to property and the environment, these fires take up our firefighting resources when they may be needed for other incidents and accidents which could also be life-threatening.
In a worst case scenario, attending deliberately set fires could prevent us from saving your loved ones’ lives.
This crime is taken very seriously by MFRS and Merseyside Police and those who are prosecuted can face large fines and even long jail sentences.
Last week, a 30-year-old man was jailed for 10 years following an arson attack on a house in St Helens in the early hours of 18th May 2020.
Christopher Lane, from Whiston, was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court to 10 years’ imprisonment for the attack on a property - occupied by a 23-year-old woman and her two children - in Lever Street.
The original call to MFRS reported the car fire. The car was parked in the rear garden which was used as the driveway, close to the property. An attempt had also been made to ignite the front door.
One engine attended the scene and Firefighters used a high pressure hose reel to extinguish the fire. Crews remained at the scene for one hour and 10 minutes. The car was seriously damaged by fire and the property sustained some fire and smoke damage.
An investigation into the incident was carried out by MFRS and Merseyside Police.
MFRS Station Manager Joe Cunliffe, of MFRS’ Incident Investigation Team, said: “It was fortunate that the fire involving the vehicle had not spread to the inside of the house.
“It was fortunate that the fire involving the front door had burned itself out; if this has continued to burn and the fire involving the car had not been detected when it was, prompting the early intervention of the fire service, then the occupants of the house could have been trapped inside the property.
“A young mum and her two children could have been seriously injured as a result of this fire.”
We’ve also recently been called to a number of incidents taking place very early in the morning involving rubbish and wheelie bin fires in South Park, Bootle.
We are appealing to the public for any information they may have about anyone who may be lighting these or other fires.
To report a crime, always contact 999 in an emergency.
Anyone with information about people lighting fires can call 101, contact @MerPolCC or Crimestoppers anonymously @CrimestoppersUK or on 0800 555 111.