THE Fire Service says arsonists behind two huge blazes in Stafford this morning put lives at risk.
They say a fire started deliberately near a petrol station could have been “catastrophic” and the Salvation Army building has been “completely destroyed”.
A Stafford crew was called to a wheelie bin fire on Crooked Bridge Road at 1.43am and used one hose reel to extinguish the flames before leaving at 2.04am.
They were then called to another arson incident at 2.34am just down the road at the Salvation Army building on Faraday Road, causing the roof to completely collapse as well extensive damage to the meeting room.
A crew from Stafford, one from Rising Brook, one from Stone and the aerial ladder platform from Longton attended the Faraday Road incident and left the scene at 7.13am.
Station Manager Neil Pedersen said: “Both of these incidents were very serious and are being treated as arson.
“The Salvation Army building has been completely destroyed and in total almost 30 firefighters attended the incident.
“The bin fire on Crooked Bridge Road was in very close proximity to a petrol station so it was incredibly lucky that firefighters arrived when they did and brought it under control.
“If it had spread, the consequences could have been catastrophic.
“The people responsible for carrying out these acts have not only damaged property, their anti-social behaviour also put the lives of residents and firefighters unnecessarily at risk as well possibly diverting vital resources from potentially life-threatening incidents.”
Inspector Giles Parsons, from Stafford Local Policing Team, said: “Staffordshire Police is continuing its enquiries into the investigation of these serious incidents that are being treated as arson.
“We would appeal to anyone who witnessed the incidents or saw anyone acting in a suspicious manner to contact us on 101, quoting incident 47 of 29 August. Alternatively people can remain anonymous by contacting the independent charity, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”