STAFFORDSHIRE Fire and Rescue Service are urging members of the public to be vigilant and immediately report any suspicious activity to the police after arsonists were responsible for a grass fire which almost spread to nearby homes this week.
Firefighters were called to reports of a fire on land between Mow Cow Road and Dales Green Road in Mow Cop on Wednesday night.
It was the latest in an ongoing series of grass and moorland fires which have been deliberately across the county in the past few months.
The fire at Mow Cop covered around one acre of sloping gorse land and quickly spread to within 10 metres of a house below.
Two residents of the house, a 19-year-old woman and a 30-year-old man, suffered from smoke inhalation and were given oxygen therapy by firefighters.
Both were checked over by paramedics at the scene, and the 30-year-old man, who suffers with asthma, was taken to Royal Stoke University Hospital for further checks.
Station manager Carl Mason said: “This week we launched our Flames Aren’t Games campaign and this incident highlights just how serious and dangerous it is to start fires deliberately.
“The incident was very challenging for firefighters due to steep rock faces and rugged terrain which limited access. The wind conditions meant the fire spread rapidly and the crews had to quickly find the best location to fight the fire with nearby access to water.
“At one point the fire was within 10 metres of a residents home, where the rock face met their garden boundary and two people suffering smoke inhalation – with one needing hospital treatment.
“The local community really rallied together and were dousing the gardens and boundaries with water to keep the flames at bay.
“While we never encourage anyone to tackle a fire themselves, we would like to thank them for their support and the brave actions they took to protect their homes. We’d also like to thank colleagues from Staffordshire Police who helped residents stay safe during the incident.
“We’re urging the public to be extra vigilant while the hot dry weather conditions continue. Please report any suspicious activity to police immediately, if you think someone is starting a fire call 999 and if you have any information about those responsible for setting fires please call police on 101.”
Firefighters were called out to deal with 18 grass fires in the Staffordshire Moorlands between July 1 and July 15.
Photo supplied by Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service.