Firefighters from Kingston had concrete blocks thrown at them as they were on their way to put out a fire in Croydon last night.

Rioters smashed the front windscreen and side window of one of the station's two fire engines as it was heading to Norbury.

They were attacked as they went through a road blockade set up by demonstrators.

Kingston crew manager Jason Bettinson said: “They were attacked en route to a fire. It was a shock for them.

“They didn’t expect to come under attack themselves with missiles thrown at them.

“The machine is off the run at the moment. We’re still waiting for the windscreen to be replaced and a side window.

“Obviously our main aim is to put out fires and help people in distress.

“They managed to get to the fire and put it out.”

Paul Neale, Kingston and Richmond Fire Brigades Union (FBU) rep, said: “It is true professionalism of the highest order.

“Regardless of what happens we will do everything we can within our power to serve the public as was admirably demonstrated last night.

“They got attacked and they carried on and put out the fire.”