‘INCONSIDERATE’ yobs put lives at risk after deliberately setting off a fire alarm in a tower block in a ‘sickening joke’, firefighters have said.
Thugs ‘maliciously’ activated the alarm at Langstone House, in Lockerley Road, Havant, at 1.01am yesterday morning.
The false alarm triggered an immediate response from fire crews in the town and neighbouring Cosham, with three pumps attending the scene.
However, crews soon realised the alarm was a fake and stood down.
Councillors have since branded the incident ‘sick’, with leading firefighters from Cosham and Havant also lashing out, saying yobs diverted ‘vital resources’ away from genuine emergencies elsewhere.
Watch manager Jim Tickner, was part of two crews from Havant sent to attend the incident.
‘This was really inconsiderate,’ he said. ‘You have got three appliances that have gone and at the same time there was a car fire in Southleigh Road that Emsworth (fire station crews) were called to.
‘We would have gone to that had we not have been on a call to a false alarm.’
Cosham crew manager Stephen Alchin has also lambasted out at the yobs, saying triggering false alarms like this was piling on extra, unnecessary strain to the county’s fire service.
He said: ‘It is annoying when this happens.
‘This means that you’re going out to a call where as you could be going to help persons trapped in an RTC (road traffic collision) or dealing with an actual emergency.
‘Instead, we were tied up with kids just breaking open a fire alarm and setting it off.’
Havant Borough councillors have since condemned the situation and those responsible for causing it.
Labour leader Councillor Terry Hart, who represents Bondfields Ward, said: ‘This is a very sick joke especially given the recent problems we have had in tower blocks.
‘If you start getting these people setting off false alarms one day this could happen for real but some might treat it as a false alarm. A lot of people could lose their lives.’
Fellow Bondfield councillor Alex Rennie, added:‘This is very disappointing.
‘Firefighters could’ve been out there at another incident not this false alarm. People need to understand that any false alarm could potentially have a devastating effect.’