Firefighters in Dundee have launched a programme aimed at stamping out young fireraisers.
At risk youngsters in the area who might be showing signs of going down the path of crime and fire- setting have been identified as part of the project.
The Tele highlighted yesterday areas like Lochee were being blighted by deliberate fire-starting.
The youths will be taken to fire stations across the city to meet crews, learn more about their job and take part in real firefighter training.
The sessions will include using breathing apparatus in a smoke filled building and manoeuvring their way out safety.
They will also be shown hosepipes outside on the stations’ drill square and learn how to pack up equipment.
The project is headed by Dundee community firefighter Kevin Phillip, from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s prevention and protection department.
He said: “It’s all about building relationships with youngsters in the community and showing them the difficulties firefighters face.
“What’s just a small bin fire and a bit of fun to them, uses a lot of resources and costs us a lot of money – it costs an average of £2,000 every time we take a fire engine out.
“These small fires can spread into big fires quickly and end up needing two, three or four fire engines and there are only six fire engines in Dundee.”
Kevin said his fear is that a house fire takes place when the majority of the city’s engines are out dealing with deliberate secondary fires, and they struggle to get resources deployed.
He said: “Children don’t think about the consequences when they are starting these fires.
“What if someone they knew was in a house fire and needed a fire engine but they were tied up with a small deliberate fire?
“All these bin fires and fires in garages, they are escalating. It’s only a matter of time before someone gets hurt and that’s exactly what we want to stop. We want to stamp it out before that happens.”
Kevin hopes the project will help youngsters understand the dangers of deliberate firesetting, both of injury to themselves and the danger of using up resources.
He added: “We’re not just responding to these deliberate fires, we’re also taking proactive action to try to stop them from happening.”