West Midlands Fire Service were hampered in their efforts to tackle a fire in two houses on the Hawkesley estate yesterday evening.
According to reports, the fires started in vacant properties awaiting demolition at around 9.30pm on Saturday (18th May) night. The buildings on Wansbeck Grove, Kings Norton are part of an area due for regeneration.
Seven fire appliances and a hydraulic platform were brought in to tackle the fire. A total of eight fire fighters wearing breathing apparatus fought the fire.
However, onlookers reported that, whilst fire fighters risked their lives, some youths were witnessed “whacking golf balls at fire services”. West Midlands Fire Service confirmed on twitter that “The Police are in attendance and talking to some youths”
Locals report that there is an ongoing problem with break ins and antisocial behaviour in and around vacant properties in the area. One man told us on twitter that he had been called just the night before to secure the properties. He told us that on Friday there was “one house set fire to, another broken into. I got called out to it to resecure screens but got attacked! we had bottles and bricks thrown at us, then a petrol bomb as we drove off!”
Kings Norton Housing Liaison Board are aware of this weekend’s incidents and will be talking to the council’s Kings Norton housing on Monday.
Councillor Valerie Seabright said that she and Councillor Peter Griffiths had been out to visit the scene this morning and will be following up with the neighbourhood police team.
Cllr Griffiths said: “Cllr. Seabright and I have visited this morning and spoken with some of the nearest residents. [Cllr Seabright] will be following up with authorities tomorrow as site needs securing or early demolition.”
We will let you know of any updates.
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