Mansfield man leaps into action to put out alleyway blaze started by arsonists

A 21-year-old Mansfield man leapt into action when he feared ‘lives were at risk’ after vandals sparked a blaze in an alleyway close to where he lives.

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 7:39 am

Arsonists set fire to a mattress on a pathway which runs between Scarcliffe Street and Harcourt Street shortly after 4.30pm on Saturday, April 17.

The flames quickly spread to a nearby wooden fence and two sheds before quick-thinking Liam Moss and his grandfather Stephen Dennington sprang into action to prevent the fire from getting out of control.

Liam, who was looking out of his bedroom window when he spotted the fire, dashed outside, grabbed a hosepipe and, with Stephen, started to the douse the flames.

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The badly damaged fence off Scarcliffe Street in Mansfield.

“At first I thought it was someone’s barbecue, then I realised it was a mattress burning in the jitty,” said Liam, who suffered a minor burn to his hand.

"I shouted ‘call the fire brigade!’ They had been called, but I thought, if I don’t do something people could get hurt and lives and property at risk.

"The speed at which the flames spread was amazing.

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Liam Moss helped to put out the alleyway fire in Mansfield.

"The fire brigade came in 10 minutes and put it out. They looked at my hand, said it was not too bad, but it was a bit red.”

Liam says the fire is the latest incident to have taken place in the alleyway, which he believes should be closed to the public.

“Locals have reported the jitty many times,” he said. “We get everything from attacks, assaults, fireworks, drug dealing, dog walkers threatened with hammers and knives you name it – all kinds of anti-social behaviour.

"People want the jitty blocked off. We asked the council and police but never get help. All the neighbours thanked me. I am no hero, I just did what any human would do.”

A spokesperson for Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service confirmed that it was called to the blaze – which destroyed a fence belonging to two elderly neighbours.

“A crew from Mansfield Fire Station was called to Scarcliffe Street at 4.36pm on Saturday, April 17,” said the spokesperson.

"It took about 40 minutes to extinguish the fire, which started in rubbish in the alley and spread to fences and sheds.”