Fire commander in Eleventh Night plea

Editorial image
Editorial image

The number of times firefighters called to bonfire incidents last Eleventh Night rose by 39%, an officer said.

A senior commander appealed for people to put safety first at next week’s events.

Alan Walmsley said crews attended 33 incidents last year.

He said: “We are hoping this year to see a further reduction in the number of bonfire-related incidents we attend, but this can only be achieved if people think safety first at bonfires.”

Last year, the NIFRS regional control centre dealt with 43 bonfire-related 999 calls, 12 more than in 2015 .

Mr Walmsley added since 2013, there had been a downward trend in the number of incidents, apart from last year.

“Our main priority is to keep people safe from the dangers of fire and so we appeal directly to the bonfire builders and community representatives to listen to our advice.

“Bonfires should be kept at a manageable size and sited in a clear, open space at a safe distance from buildings and overhead cables.”