FIREFIGHTERS have come under attack by stone-throwing youths twice within 24 hours.

Both attacks, which took place in Leigh, involved youths throwing rocks, cement and stones at firefighters responding to 999 calls.

The first attack occurred on Monday, October 9 on Holly Grove, Leigh, just before 8.15pm, where crews found a mattress on fire in the alleyway behind the houses.

The fire itself was extinguished quickly but as crews were leaving the incident the engine came under attack by youths throwing small pieces of stone and cement at them.

Some of these pieces struck the fire engine, causing minor damage.

The next day, Tuesday, October 10, just before 6pm, another 999 call was made to report a fire in the woodland area near to Cedar Road.

On arrival firefighters found five wheelie bins alight and started attempting to put out the flames, however, their efforts were soon hindered when they came under attack from a group of youths throwing rocks at them.

Firefighters were able to dodge all incoming missiles whilst extinguishing the fire with a hose reel but once back in the fire engine, more missiles were launched, again causing damage to the vehicle.

Group manager for Bolton and Wigan, Lee Coleman said: “This week firefighters have attended two deliberate fires in Holly Grove and Cedar Avenue, part of the Tree’s Estate, Westleigh.

“When crews arrived at each of the incidents they were attacked by youths, who threw bricks and stones at them and the fire engine.

"This is completely unacceptable behaviour when our firefighters are working hard to protect our community.

“These attacks not only put our firefighters at risk, but also prevents them from attending other incidents, where potentially people’s lives could be at risk.

“Over the coming weeks, we will be working with our partners to stress the impact of this behaviour on our service.”

Deputy mayor for policing and crime Beverley Hughes, added: “This is the sixth-time firefighters have been attacked in the space of two weeks, with two of those attacks occurring in a 24-hour window just this week.

“These attacks take up the extremely valuable time and resources of our emergency services and will not be tolerated.

“There will be serious consequences for anybody that is found to be involved in this sort of behaviour and we will work closely with Greater Manchester Police to investigate any attacks on our emergency services.”

For more information call 0161 6084092 or email