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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 November 2005, 17:14 GMT
Crews face bonfire night attacks
Broken window of fire engine
Firefighters were targeted by a mob in Rutherglen
Firefighters and police faced a series of attacks from gangs as they attended bonfire night call-outs in the Strathclyde area.

In one incident, trouble broke out in Rutherglen when a group of 20 to 30 youths threw missiles at fire crews who were called to extinguish a bonfire.

Sixteen males and three females were arrested during the disturbance at Fernbrae Avenue.

The fire service said only luck prevented serious injury.

Some of the things that are happening at the moment really are potentially lethal,
Andrew Shuttleworth
Strathclyde Fire and Rescue

The trouble in Rutherglen lasted for more than an hour.

A police officer received arm injuries after being hit by a firework and another was left with a broken nose when he was struck by a missile.

Assistant Chief Officer Andrew Shuttleworth said: "When you are facing that sort of onslaught, it's a miracle that no firefighter was injured. Some of these attacks are beyond the beyond the pale.

Rocket thrown

"Some of the things that are happening at the moment really are potentially lethal, particularly when fireworks are used as ammunition.

"I must pay tribute to the firefighters who yet again met the challenge of a busy Guy Fawkes Day."

He added: "I deplore the actions of people who put the lives of firefighters and other emergency workers at risk.

"The presence of police officers as back-up at our four fire stations in Glasgow's east end was a major success in ensuring the safety of firefighters from those stations."

Away from Rutherglen, emergency crews across the region faced a barrage of stones, fireworks and bottles in six other outbreaks of trouble.

One crew was pelted with stones in Hamilton and an officer had a rocket thrown at his car in Kilbarchan.

Incident commander's jacket
A care home had to be evacuated as a precaution

A gang attacked another crew with fireworks at Hamiltonhill on the north side of Glasgow, where the ground and top floors of a three-storey building were ablaze.

In Motherwell, youths blocked a fire crew which had been called to a bonfire in the town's Scotia Street, while another gang verbally abused firefighters in Douglas, South Lanarkshire.

In the Castlemilk area of Glasgow, firefighters were attacked while attending a van fire in Ardencraig Gardens.

A care home in Ruchill, in the north of Glasgow, had to be evacuated as a precautionary measure after fire broke out in a nearby disused warehouse.

Firefighters in Strathclyde dealt with more than 700 call-outs, when they said a usual night sees about 500 emergencies.

Crews dealt with 238 bonfires, compared to 180 last year.




SEE ALSO:
Police set to shield firefighters
03 Nov 05 |  Scotland
Fireworks used in crew attacks
06 Nov 04 |  Scotland
Bricks and bottles thrown at crew
21 Aug 05 |  Scotland


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