Huntersville Fire Department says “#ThisNeedstoStop” after people keep pulling fire alarms as prank at Birkdale Shopping Center

Published: Jan. 6, 2020 at 5:27 PM EST
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HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (WBTV) - The Huntersville Fire Department has responded to seven alarms over the past six days, all of which were false alarms happening in the residential community at Birkdale Village.

They believe the fire alarms are being pulled on purpose, possibly by teens as a prank. But the calls have frustrated the firefighters and they want those responsible to know this isn’t just dangerous, but also illegal.

“It’s kind of like playing Russian roulette here. If this kind of irresponsible behavior continues, it could affect our response for future calls," said Bill Suthard with the Huntersville Fire Department.

It’s not just frustrating for the firefighters who respond every time, not knowing if it’s a prank or not, nearby neighbors are concerned as well.

“If they’re pulling away from real emergencies, that’s nuts,” said Alexis Villazon, who works in the area. “You definitely didn’t do that, at least when I was a kid.”

The Huntersville Fire Department tweeted out their frustrations saying it needs to stop before someone gets hurt.

Although it seems harmless at first, firefighters warn this behavior affects the time first responders could be responding to real emergencies.

“At any minute it could be a cardiac arrests, could have been a serious accident with people trapped or a fire with people trapped and we need to get there as fast as possible,” said Suthard.

The fire department is working with the fire marshal’s office, the Huntersville Police Department and Birkdale Village to find out exactly who is responsible and potentially press charges. The person or people responsible could face misdemeanor charges.

“I think it’s very inappropriate, kids are getting away with a lot more than they should," said Elizabeth Oates, who works in the area.

The Fire Department is asking for your help. If you know something or saw something, they ask you to come forward. But also sit down and talk with your teenagers about why this is inappropriate behavior.

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