During the London riots, blazes were battled every five minutes in what the capital’s fire service describes as the service’s “toughest test”, according to a report.
Firefighters attended at least 807 incidents over four days as looting and arson flared across the city last month but it found it had enough staff and fire engines to cope with the unprecedented scenes.
“During the civil disturbances, the London Fire Brigade faced its toughest-ever test but showed itself to be more than up to the job,” said Brian Coleman, chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority.
Mr Coleman spoke at the report’s launch of his anger that firefighters had faced physical and verbal attacks from rioters.
Riot police stand in line as fire rages through a building in Tottenham, north London
A building on fire in Tottenham where the riots started
“It is a disgrace that people with no respect for the law tried to stop firefighters from doing their job,” he said.
The firemen attended 263 fires on one day alone, with the brigade’s 999 control staff handling a call every 48 seconds.
The busiest hour for control staff was between 11pm and midnight on Monday August 8, when staff were dealing with a call every 11 seconds.
One firefighter had cuts on his face after bricks were thrown through a fire engine windscreen, but he was the only one to be injured in that way.