Melton firefighters get on their bikes to stop blazes being started

Firefighter Matthew McMullan (centre ) with crew manager Pete Wakefield and Firefighter Nathan Gladding prepare to set out on their new FireBeat fire prevention operation EMN-180724-151805001
Firefighter Matthew McMullan (centre ) with crew manager Pete Wakefield and Firefighter Nathan Gladding prepare to set out on their new FireBeat fire prevention operation EMN-180724-151805001
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A team of firefighters are to cycle around Melton to talk to young people in a bid to prevent fires being started deliberately.

The FireBeat squad will target areas where arson has most regularly taken place although they will also hand out fire safety advice to residents while they are on the move.

Firefighter Nathan Gladding and crew manger Pete Wakefield prepare for the new FireBeat fire prevention initiative EMN-180724-151815001

Firefighter Nathan Gladding and crew manger Pete Wakefield prepare for the new FireBeat fire prevention initiative EMN-180724-151815001

The initiative has been started following recent arson attacks on a field off Buttermere Close, on cars parked on the Fairmead Estate and last week’s fatal house fire in nearby Oakham, which was caused by a carelessly discarded cigarette.

The FireBeat team involves part-time retained crew members led by Matt McMullan, who said: “The aim is for us to engage with members of the community to help prevent fires from being started, either deliberately or by accident.

“We will be giving fire safety advice to reduce the likelihood of fires starting because there is a real risk of it happening with the hot summer we are having.”

The FireBeat team will be going out two days a week and talking to local youngsters in the town parks and other areas of the town where they congregate to advise them on the dangers, as well as speaking to residents about fire safety.

Firefighter Matthew McMullan who is leading the new FireBeat fire prevention squad EMN-180724-151825001

Firefighter Matthew McMullan who is leading the new FireBeat fire prevention squad EMN-180724-151825001

Matt added: “We advise people not to have bonfires in the current hot weather and if they do we will be telling them what measures they can take to stop it spreading

“Another thing people can do is to discard cigarette butts safely, in ash trays, and not throw them out the window or down on the dry ground.

“A lot of people are having barbecues at this time of year and we would like to warn them not to have them in open areas where there is lots of dry grass and a risk of fire starting and spreading.”