London Calmer, But Riots Spread Elsewhere

The London Fire Brigade's emergency command center received 2,169 calls -- 15 times the number answered on a normal day -- between 6 p.m. Monday and 7:19 a.m. Tuesday.

London's streets were calmer overnight as about 16,000 police officers were deployed to prevent more violence, but disturbances in Birmingham and Manchester increased. The London Fire Brigade said its emergency command center received 2,169 calls between 6 p.m. Monday and 7:19 a.m. Tuesday, 15 times more than it receives on a normal day, and called it the busiest night for the brigade in recent history.

Three of its fire engines were damaged in the second night's violence. One engine was damaged while at the scene of a fire, while two others were damaged while being driven to incidents. No firefighters were injured.

"Last night's events were unprecedented. We received thousands of 999 calls and our crews dealt with major fires right across London," Brian Coleman, chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, said Monday. "Our staff worked throughout the night and have shown nothing but dedication and absolute professionalism. They are a credit to the London Fire Brigade and a credit to the whole of London. Those who are starting these fires deliberately are in danger of killing someone if this widespread, mindless thuggery continues. As we've seen in previous days, what starts as a bin or car fire can easily spread to nearby shops and homes."

The brigade launched the UK's first online fire map May 24 on its Facebook page so Londoners can check the incidents to which firefighters are responding in their communities.

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