Anger has been voiced after firefighters were attacked with bricks as they responded to a fire on Sunday.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) firefighters from Farnworth Fire Station were called to Fourth Avenue on the Dove Bank Estate in Little Lever last night, Bonfire Night. 

However, when they were called to the fire, which involved wheelie bins and timber, they were pelted with bricks

It is not the first incident of its kind on the estate. 

Cllr Liam Barnard, who represents Little Lever, said: "It is outrageous, isn't it. 

"Firefighters are there to protect people, it is the dregs of society doing it. 

"I don't think all the kids live on the estate, they just gathered there. I saw a fire engine go past and went to have a look at it, but saw what was happening and didn't want to get too close. 

"I saw them throwing something at firefighters, I was quite far away when I saw it. They were wearing balaclavas and things like that over their faces." 

Cllr Barnard says those throwing the items were young people. 

The Bolton News: Tackling the fireTackling the fire (Image: GMFRS)

He added: "They're the lowest of the low, it's like some people who throw stones at ambulances, these people are supposed to protect and help us, think it's fun and games. I just hope it is picked up by police. 

"The problem we've got is that over the last 13 years, policing has been cut and so there are no police around to stop it. 

"That is the main issue, it is not just that they're doing it, it's the fact that they can get away with it.

"To residents, if you see antisocial behaviour and stuff like this, make sure it is reported to the police, because the more it is reported to them, the more likely we are to get them around to deal with it." 

Firefighters were also attacked on the Dove Bank Estate in May last year, when they were called to tackle fires there. 

They were reportedly pelted with rocks and full beer cans as they tackled two suspected deliberately started fires. 

Speaking to BBC Radio Manchester on Monday, Paul Fearnhead, head of delivery at GMFRS, said: “We have had periods… of low-level antisocial behaviour, which has involved fireworks being thrown at firefighters and other emergency service workers.

“It has also seen bricks and stones thrown at our crews. It is absolutely, completely, unacceptable behaviour from a really low number of members of the public that are targeting attacks on firefighters and emergency workers.

“Our crews need to be out there and be able to carry out their role as professional firefighters, keeping the public safe.”

The Bolton News: The fire in Little LeverThe fire in Little Lever (Image: GMFRS)

He added: “The crew members are OK, we do checks on our crew members all the time. We have sustained damage to our fire appliances, paintwork and bodywork has been damaged through the bricks hitting the fire engines.

“The crews last night (Sunday) will have gone through quite a few emotions, they go out on their night shift to do a night’s work, looking after members of the public.

“To turn up at a fire and see a small, low level fire that is maybe uncontrolled or unattended, and to have their mindset that they’re going to extinguish that fire and support people, it is very hard for them to get off the fire engine and then come under attack by youths that might be hiding behind trees or in the darkness and under cover.”

A GMP spokesperson said: "Officers were called at approximately 7.20pm on Sunday to reports of a bin on fire and group of youths setting off fireworks on Fourth Avenue in Little Lever, Bolton.

"Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service also attended and were reported to have had objects thrown at them. 

"Thankfully no injuries were reported however behaviour such as this will not be tolerated. 

"Although no arrests have been made at this time an investigation is ongoing."