999 condemn boy who started fire Longton warehouse fire
FIRE chiefs have condemned an arsonist who sparked a huge warehouse fire.
A 15-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was last week given a referral order after admitting starting a blaze in Caroline Street, in Longton.
It ripped through a warehouse belonging to Times Square Ltd, in Longton, destroying printing paper and machinery on April 29.
The fire also damaged the premises of neighbouring Sheltonian China, causing the firm to lose a £45,000 contract.
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Kelvin Knapper, fire investigation officer for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "The sentencing sends out a warning to potential arsonists that this is a crime that we and the police take very seriously.
"Quite simply people who commit arson are putting lives at risk – their own lives, the lives of members of the public and the lives of our firefighters who are sent to tackle the incidents.
"This particular incident required the attendance of eight fire engines. Our crews can't be in two places at once, so while they were dealing with these fires it meant they would have been unable to attend other life-threatening emergencies."
It emerged in court that the youth responsible had lit a single strip of paper with a lighter after getting into the warehouse with a group of friends.
Following the fire, police arrested and bailed eight boys, all aged 14 and 15 and from Longton.
Only one was prosecuted, while the others were released from their bail without charge.