NUISANCE firebugs could have cost Chester taxpayers more than £180,000 over the past year.
Figures obtained by the Leader under the Freedom of Information Act have revealed Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has been called out to 91 deliberately started small fires in the Chester area during the last 12 months.
While the service does not keep records of money spent on each call out, the most recent Economic Cost of Fire report showed the cost of attending a small, deliberate fire was £1,970. This would see the overall cost stand at £179,270.
Of the 91 incidents, 88 were attended by one fire engine, with three fires requiring the attention of an additional appliance, which could see the figure of £180,000 surpassed.
The figures, which include the CH1, CH2, CH3 and CH4 postcodes, include the spate of small arson attacks on bins across Blacon in November last year, when 16 similar incidents were reported in a matter of weeks.
Following these incidents, Colin Heyes, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service’s arson reduction manager, said: “This sort of crime is extremely dangerous and any fire puts the lives of the public and firefighters at considerable risk.
“These fires come at a high cost to the community, they take up our valuable time and resources and also waste council tax money.”