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Ribbleton RSPCA scrambles to protect animals after youths light fire yards from enclosures

Posted on - 23rd March, 2022 - 2:52pm | Author - | Posted in - Crime, Preston News, Ribbleton
The fire behind RSPCA Preston and District Branch in Ribbleton. Pic: RSPCA

Ribbleton RSPCA staff yesterday rushed to protect their animals as firefighters battled a grass fire lit by youths near the centre on Longridge Road.

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In a Facebook video on Tuesday 22 March, a staff member from RSPCA Preston and District Branch filmed the blaze – started on a surrounding area known as Grange, near the animal centre’s dog blocks.

At 4.20pm, one fire engine from Bamber Bridge attended Longridge Road, and the crew used a hose reel and beaters to extinguish the flames, taking approximately twenty minutes.

Read more: Police increasingly concerned for missing Preston teenager 

The fire was lit yards away from the RSPCA dog blocks. Pic: RSPCA

Mark Allen, Animal Centre Manager at RSPCA Preston and District Branch, said: “Fortunately, there was no damage to any structures at the centre.

“Thankfully, no staff or animals were harmed, but we locked the dogs in for an hour due to the smoke blowing around.

“This was quite a scary event for all of the on-duty staff – the dogs would also have felt that fear and anxiety due to their amazing senses, particularly their sense of smell.”

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RSPCA at Preston
RSPCA at Preston

Mark said it is the second fire that has occurred close to the centre over the last few days, with another blaze set on Saturday 19 March and locals reportedly witnessing youths setting the most recent fire.

Alongside the Facebook video, RSPCA Preston and District Branch said: “Please can the local community share this footage and appeal for any news to be reported to the local police.

“I can’t stress enough how serious this is and how badly it affects our animals.”

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The RSPCA reported that there had been other recent fires in the Grange away from the centre, with large areas of grassland burnt.

Mark said: “We urge anyone who has any information to contact the police and for all parents to teach their children the importance of not playing with fire and to be aware of their child’s whereabouts.

“We would like to thank the public who initially raised the alarm and to the fire brigade for responding so quickly.”

Read more: Concern rising for missing Preston man

To donate to RSPCA Preston and District Branch, visit – https://www.justgiving.com/rspcaprestonanddistric

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