There has been a “very serious” increase in deliberate fire starting in Ennis, Clare’s Chief Fire Officer has warned.
Adrian Kelly told Lunchtime Live that, for days on end, local firefighters have been called out to tackle blazes that have been started on purpose.
“We have seen an increase in antisocial behaviour - particularly in one area in Ennis,” he said.
“We have been dealing with 12 small rubbish fires each night… that were set just to bring the firefighters into the area.”
Worse still, on Saturday night, a fire engine had just successfully put out the flames of a fire when the crew heard the sound of breaking glass.
— Emergency Services/Search and Rescue - Clare (@ClareEmergency) October 23, 2022
“We ended up having the side window of a fire appliance [on a fire engine] smashed and, fortunately enough, nobody was hurt at the time,” Mr Kelly said.
He added that the issue of antisocial behaviour had become a “very serious issue” in the community and that only a “small few” were behind the havoc.
“Since then, there has been a good bit of engagement with the community, with the Gardaí to see if there is some way that we can combat this,” Mr Kelly continued.
“Because, as we approach Halloween, we’re going to see a bit more of it and what we want to do, if at all possible, is ensure that our personnel are fully safe.”
An Garda Síochána said that “Gardaí responded to an incident of criminal damage on the Childers Road in Ennis [on Saturday] evening. Damage was caused to a window of a Fire Service vehicle, but no injuries were reported. Enquiries are ongoing.”
Main image: A fire engine. Picture by: Alamy.com