Youths attack firefighters and steal equipment

Fire engine
Fire engine

Firefighters came under attack from youths as they tried to deal with a car that had been stolen and deliberately set alight in west Belfast on Wednesday.

The youths also stole three pieces of equipment from the fire engine in attendance at the scene in Albert Street around 7.15pm.

The green Hyundai Accent car was stolen from Mountjoy Street after 6.20pm on Wednesday and police said it was then “driven erratically” in Albert Street before being set on fire.

The Fire Service has appealed for the return of the Collector Head, which connects the fire hose to the engine pump, a Suction Wrench, used to access water supplies and T-bar, used to remove a ladder from the roof of a fire engine.

None of the fire officers were injured and the fire engine is still in use in the area.

A spokesman said: “We are keen to stress that this is an isolated incident in this area as normally the Firefighters can respond to incidents in this area without the threat of coming under attack. Nonetheless we are disappointed that Firefighters, who were only out doing their job and protecting our community, should be attacked in such a manner.

“We are reassured by the immediate support received from the local community representatives in condemning this attack and appealing for the return of the pieces of equipment. We realise that the people who carried out the attack and stole the equipment are not representative of the wider Lower Falls Community.

“We would continue to appeal to the community and also to parents to help educate their children not to attack the emergency services. Firefighters are part of the community and they work tirelessly to protect the local community.”