Sparx! highlights arson at Shropshire theatre

Chief Fire Officer Alan Taylor with the Sparx! cast at Oakengates Theatre @The Place in Telford|Add photo caption or leave blank|Add photo caption or leave blank|Add photo caption or leave blank

Shropshire's Chief Fire Officer today praised a successful drama production with "vital" anti arson messages for schoolchildren.

The cast of Sparx!, which put on the production at Oakengates Theatre Place in Telford, raised awareness about the dangers and consequences of malicious fire setting and anti-social behaviour, said Alan Taylor.

"They certainly helped to get the message across in a very dramatic way," said Mr Taylor, whose firefighters are called out to deal with malicious fires across the county, especially during school holidays.

"I do appeal to parents to talk to their children about the dangers of deliberately setting fires. Once school's break up for the Summer we do experience an increase in deliberate fires which sends out a crew when they may be needed at a real emergency."

A joint initiative with the fire service, Telford and Wrekin Safer and Stronger Communities Partenership and police, Sparx! gives out key fire safety messages as well as dealing with bullying and peer pressure. Pupils received a CD of the music and a follow-up pack containing lesson plans for citizenship, PSHE, English, dance and drama.

Written and performed by Wolverhampton's Zip Theatre for year 8 pupils, the production finishes this week at the end of a six week tour of the Midlands.

Pupils who watch the dramatic production say they did not realise how quickly a fire starts and how it can easily get out of hand.

12th July, 2006