FIREFIGHTERS received 834 malicious hoax calls last year and Cheshire Fire says fake emergencies are putting lives at risk.

Figures released after a Freedom of Information request revealed that the number of calls Cheshire crews attended peaked at 145 throughout 2016.

On one occasion three fire engines, an ambulance and police were sent to an address after a hoax caller told a call handler at the emergency control centre there was a house burning down with people screaming inside.

In June 2016 the fire service received seven hoax calls in just 10 days asking for firefighters to be sent to the same street.

And in February a female call handler ordered a malicious caller to stop wasting her time after he tried to chat her up when he phoned 999.

During last year's Euro 2016 when Northern Ireland striker Will Grigg became a fans' favourite due to supporters chanting his name to the tune of 90s hit 'Freed from Desire', one caller also rang to tell the call handler 'Will Grigg's on fire'. 

Click play above to hear three hoax calls to Cheshire Fire in the past year. 

Cheshire Fire Service warned that all telephone conversations are recorded and tracked.

Anyone caught reporting a fake emergency could have their phone disconnected and be prosecuted.

And firefighters are not the only service hit by hoax calls.

North West Ambulance Service received more than 1,520 callouts to false emergencies last year including reports of stabbings, bombs and hazardous materials.

Cheshire Police revealed they were targeted by 161 hoax callers in 2016 but that figure has already climbed to 184 prank calls so far in 2017.

Colin Heyes, arson reduction manager at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Hoax calls put the community and firefighters at risk by making them respond to emergencies which don’t exist.

“For the past few years the numbers have remained roughly the same and this currently wastes our firefighters’ valuable time and also public money.

“We are urging people ahead of our busy Halloween period to think about the consequences of making a hoax call. Anyone caught making a hoax call could have their mobile phone disconnected, they could face criminal charges and even a prison sentence. Is it really worth it?”