TEENAGE yobs hurled fireworks and rocks at firefighters who were trying to extinguish a dangerous bonfire in Widnes.
A team from Widnes Fire Station was called out by concerned neighbours to a bonfire at Royal Avenue, Hough Green, when they were suddenly set on by a gang.
About 30 thugs aged 12 to 17 years old started to throw rocks and fireworks at the firefighters once they realised their bonfire was about to be put out.
Although the police were alerted to the incident, which happened at 5.45pm on Monday, the firefighters decided to quit the scene to avoid injury.
A neighbour had called the fire service about the bonfire, which was barely 20 yards from nearby homes, and the crew had gone to check out the scene.
Leading Firefighter Gray Simpson, who attended the blaze, said: 'The situation was totally out of hand, to the extent that we just had to leave as quickly as we could.
'Some of the older youngsters were trying to tell us that they were responsible adults in charge of the bonfire but, as it was causing concern to nearby residents, we had to try to put it out.
'The youngsters started to throw rocks and fireworks at us because they obviously thought we shouldn't have been putting out the fire.
'Thankfully, none of the firefighters were hurt as we wear protective clothing.
'We want to appeal to the better nature of these youngsters and their parents. We're doing a job to ensure people's safety.
'We don't want to be killjoys, but people were concerned about how close the fire was to their homes. If the bonfire had been set up in a controlled manner and there was a responsible adult supervising we would have probably left it alone.
'People who want to enjoy a bonfire should always go to an organised event to be safe.'
Over the course of the Bonfire Night weekend teams from Widnes Fire Station were called out to more than 30 dangerous fires and on the night itself the fire service was reported to be 'extremely busy'.