Teenage yobs pelted Northamptonshire firefighters with missiles as they attended a hoax 999 call late last night (Monday).
Extensive searches confirmed no sign of any fire but a gang of teenagers in the vicinity yelled abuse at the firefighters and threw objects at one of the appliances.
Paramedics from East Midlands Ambulance Services and police officers also responded to the 999 call, received at 8.24pm.
Nick Gayton, a station commander at Mereway Fire Station, also attended the incident and added: “For fire crews to suffer both verbal abuse and having projectiles thrown at us is just not on.
"We are there to help people and this kind of behaviour stops us from doing that.”
False alarms that are called in maliciously waste valuable time and potentially divert resources away from real emergencies where lives could be at risk.
And the county's chief fire officer Darren Dovey made it clear that abuse of his firefighters cannot be tolerated.
Posting on Twitter he said: “This is absolutely unacceptable, we will push for maximum punishments for anyone that attacks my firefighters.”
Crews carried out a thorough search of the building using thermal imaging cameras to detect any signs of a blaze before it became apparent the call was a hoax.
■ If you have any information on the incident which occurred in Kettering last night, please call 101 or you can report anonymously to FireStoppers on 0800 169 5558 or www.firestoppersreport.co.uk