Hoax 999 caller says Cheshire Tesco is on fire with ‘people screaming’ inside

Four fire engines raced to the scene after the caller described seeing ‘flames coming from the front of the store’

Four fire engines raced to a Tesco Express in Northwich after a malicious 999 caller said that flames were leaping from the front of the shop and that people were screaming inside. The call, made Thursday evening (August 25), also saw the Fire Service’s Medical Director and senior incident commander dispatched as firefighters prepared for a potentially serious incident.

But when firefighters arrived, all was well. The shop, on the corner of Chester Road and Pleasant Street in the Castle area, half-a-mile south west of the town centre, was still open.

Firefighters found no sign of a fire. The response was stood down after the service confirmed that this was a malicious 999 call.

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A statement from the Fire Service reads: “The caller reported flames coming from the front of the store and that screams could be heard from people inside.

“Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service quickly dispatched two fire engines from Northwich and two from Winsford. North West Ambulance Service was informed and the Service’s Medical Director, a senior incident commander and a fire investigation officer were mobilised. The Service’s communications team was put on standby for a potentially serious incident.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service takes hoax calls extremely seriously. They divert life-saving resources from incidents where people might need our help. In this case, significant number of vehicles and people were mobilised. Anyone with information about this incident can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or Cheshire Police on 101.

“Anyone caught making a hoax call could face criminal charges and even a prison sentence. If such calls are made from a mobile phone, that phone number can be permanently disconnected from the network.”

  • 17:20, 26 AUG 2022