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'Lives Put At Risk' By Bodmin Hoaxer

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7:03am 10th December 2014

Fire crews say lives have been put at risk in Bodmin - by a hoax caller.

Teams were scrambled to Mill Street on Wednesday evening after a 999 shout claiming flames had engulfed a shop.

Officials say it meant they were not available for genuine emergencies for half an hour.

Police are investigating.

A spokesperson for Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service said: "Firefighters responded to a 999 call stating that there was a fire next to a shop. Three subsequent calls were received from the same caller stating that the fire had spread to the shop. Additional firefighters were alerted.

"On arrival at the stated address, there was no sign of fire. Firefighters spent some time searching the area but still could not find any sign of fire. The calls were made from a public payphone in Mill Street and were made maliciously. Devon and Cornwall Police were in attendance and are continuing with their inquiries.

"Whilst investigating these reports of fire, the firefighters were not available for any genuine emergency calls for in excess of 30 minutes.This has put the public in this area at risk.

"Making hoax calls to the emergency services is a crime and due to the potential consequences if a genuine emergency was to occur in the same area, is treated extremely seriously. If anyone has information as to who made these malicious calls, they are urged to contact Devon and Cornwall Police by dialling 101.

"Several people were seen in the area and would have known the culprit."

7:03am 10th December 2014

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