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Firefighters pelted with stones by gang of youths

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Firefighters have been pelted with stones as they dealt with a series of rubbish fires in Gravesend.

Crews from Thames-side station came under attack from youths when they were called to deal with one of three blazes in Dering Way.

They have been called out 17 times in just over two weeks - and residents are now being asked for help amid growing concerns that rubbish is being deliberately set on fire.

Many of the fires have been started in the Dering Way and Shamrock Road areas.

Thames-side crew manager Lee Murphy said: "Arson is destructive and dangerous. The people responsible for these fires need to be clear that arson is a serious offence and certainly not harmless fun.

"It can attract a life sentence where someone’s life is put in danger.

"If we are dealing with a rubbish fire in open ground started deliberately, it has the potential to prevent crews from attending more serious incidents such as car crashes or house fires."

Kent Fire and Rescue Service is working with Kent Police and local authorities to investigate deliberate fires and identify those responsible.

Anyone with any information can phoneCrimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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