Thetford firefighter could have suffered ‘life-changing’ injuries after rock thrown at appliance

Picture: Chris Bishop

Picture: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant

A firefighter could have suffered 'life-changing' injuries after a rock was thrown through the window of a fire engine on bonfire night.

Barnham Cross Common. Picture: Archant

Barnham Cross Common. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

A crew from Thetford fire station had attended a number of small fires that had been deliberately started on Barnham Cross Common on Sunday night.

At around 9.30pm, they were using hose reel jets to put one out when a rock was thrown at the fire engine, breaking the window and injuring a member of the crew.

Derek Sim, station manger at Thetford, said: 'The firefighter that was in the back of the vehicle had a piece of glass go into his eye which could have potentially finished his career.

'As well as personal injury due to being a retained firefighter it would have affected our service.

The type of vehicle the crew was using was a Light Four-Wheel Drive Pump. Picture: Ian Burt

The type of vehicle the crew was using was a Light Four-Wheel Drive Pump. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

'Not only would it have affected his current employment but it could have affected any further employment due to possibly suffering a life-changing injury.'

The firefighter received medical attention at the scene from his fellow crew members. They were able to get the glass out of is eye and wash it.

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Mr Sim added: 'The guys in the truck did a fantastic job but it is always disappointing when these things happen.

'The service has turned up to put a fire out and but then to come under attack.

'While the appliance is dealing with a nuisance call it could have been utilised somewhere else.

'The damage that has been caused to this particular appliance, it is one of the few that we have in the service that we can use as a 4x4, specially designed to go across a common, into heathland and or forestry.

'Now it has been taken out of service while we have to fix it.'

The incident came two hours after the crew from Thetford attended two other call outs to the common.

The crew had previously visited the same site to put out grass fires at around 5.15pm and at 6.20pm.

In all, Theftord firefighters were called out 11 times over the weekend.

Emergenicies included a serious house fire on Jamine Way, Thetford, in which a man had a lucky escape after the roof of his house caught fire. The blaze caused extensive damage to the property and destroyed sentimental keepsakes.

Police confirmed they are investigating the rock throwing incident. Anyone with information should 101.