BONFIRES and firework pranks caused mayhem in Hyndburn in the run-up to Bonfire Night.

In a series of shocking incidents:


* Yobs launched rockets at Hyndburn firefighters as they attended a call to put out a rubbish fire.
* A woman was left terrified after a firework was deliberately targeted to hit her living room window.
* Another firework was pushed through the front door of a house where a young baby lay sleeping.
* A man was hit by a firework in Countess Street, Accrington, and taken to the Royal Blackburn Hospital for treatment.

Fire crews attended 65 call-outs in Hyndburn between Friday and Monday, down from the 110 call-outs last year.

They believe the Bright Sparks initiative may have worked in cutting incidents in the Scaitcliffe and Spring Hill areas of Accrington.

But in Steiner Street, Accrington, crews came face to face with firework-throwing yobs as they attended a call to put out a bonfire too close to nearby houses on Sunday night.

Luckily none of the crew were hurt in the attack.

Hyndburn Fire Station Watch Manager, Peter Fraser, said: "A group of around 15 started launching rockets at the firefighters and the engine.

"We were really lucky nobody was injured. It was a foolish thing to do and we have reported the incident to the police."

Anne Marie Goodwin, 46, of Bold Street, Accrington, had a lucky escape from a rocket after it smashed the outer layer of her double glazed window.

Police investigating the incident say the firework must have been set off close to the window to hit it so hard.

Fire crews were also called to a house in Within Grove, Huncoat, on Sunday night after a firework was pushed through a family’s front door.

The eight people in the house, along with a baby, all escaped injury.

Mr Fraser said: "The firework exploded in the porch and the residents were lucky to get out safely because there were clothes and materials that could very easily have caught fire."

PC Maxine Bolton, Huncoat Community Beat Manager, said: "Our inquiries are continuing. This was a downright stupid act that not only put the property at risk but the lives of eight people and a young baby."

A joint campaign between the fire service, police and council had been launched to reduce the number of deliberately-started fires after last year's total of 110.

The Central and Spring Hill areas were the worst-affected, making them the centre of the new safety initiative, Bright Sparks.

Streets including Richmond Street, Pendle Street, Fountain Street, Garbett Street, Ormerod Street, Perth Street and Higher Antley Street were given a heavy police presence to discourage groups of youths from gathering wood and starting unofficial bonfires.

A mobile fire station was set up in Clifton Street and the council provided residents with skips to get rid of any unwanted rubbish.

However, the weekend still proved busy for the emergency crews.

Sunday saw firefighters called to 24 bonfires off the Blackburn Road corridor in West Accrington, causing fears that yobs had merely been moved on.

Watch manager Phil Whittaker said: "The Bright Sparks campaign was very successful in the Spring HIll area of Accrington.

"It drastically reduced the number of incidents we were called to there but may have pushed many of them into different areas."