Hunt is on to track wheelie bin firebugs

Police are called to a back lane in Monkton Avenue after a bin exploded.

Police are called to a back lane in Monkton Avenue after a bin exploded.

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Firefighters say they are concerned by an increase in the number of fires in the Fleetwood area – in which the contents of wheelie bins had been deliberately set alight.

Since the beginning of February, there have been 12 such incidents, all of which took place in the early hours of the morning.

The main area of activity is around the lower end of Lord Street and Ash Street and around the town centre.

Both domestic and commercial premises have been targeted.

On the last occasion, a spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue said the bin had been moved against the rear door of a commercial property and – but for the intervention of fire crews – the business and the people whose livelihoods depended on it could have been in serious difficulty.

Police and fire officers are investigating the series of blazes.

A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue said: “Although every effort is being made by Fire and Police to identify and prosecute those responsible for the arson attacks, we recommend to householders and businesses that it would be wise to take these precautions to minimise the likelihood of becoming a target for arson:

“Only put the bins out on the morning of the collection.

“Bring empty bins back in after collection.

“Don’t leave rubbish in rear alleys.

“Ensure back gates are secure, and be vigilant and report anything suspicious to the Police or Fire Service.

A spokeswoman for Lancashire Constabulary added: “Enquiries are on-going to establish who is responsible for these fires and we would urge anyone with any information that could assist with our investigation to contact us on 101.”

Anyone with information that could help identify the firestarters is asked to call police on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Calls to the atter can be made anonymously and there could be a reward for information which leads to an arrest.