One in ten house fires in Lancashire ruled as arson

One in ten house fires in Lancashire are started deliberately, like this one at a home that was being built in Poulton.
One in ten house fires in Lancashire are started deliberately, like this one at a home that was being built in Poulton.
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More than 100 deliberate house fires were tackled by Lancashire’s firefighters last year, new figures have revealed.

Arson made up more than 10 per cent of all such fires in the county, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said – although that figure has fallen in the last 12 months.

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So-called anti-social’ fires made up the vast majority of the 2,139 deliberate blazes in Lancashire, with 1,890 recorded.

Last month, investigators ruled the fire at St Annes sand dunes, which devastated the nature reserve, was started deliberately.

A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said: “There were 1,052 primary dwelling fires in Lancashire for 2017/18, with a deliberate cause in 109 of them, or 10.4 per cent.

“This includes those where someone sets the fire in their own dwelling.

“The figure is actually an improvement on 2016/17, when it was 11.7 per cent and is consistent with the England and Wales average. Since 2013, five people have been killed in fires started deliberately in Lancashire – this includes those who started the fire themselves to commit suicide.”

In total, 27 people lost their lives in incidents attended by fire services over the last five years, including five last year. There were 455 casualties last year, and 91 people had to be taken to hospital as a result of their injuries.

Dave Green, of the Fire Brigades Union, said: “Starting fires deliberately in the home is a heinous crime. Arsonists do not just put the immediate victims at risk – they put whole communities and firefighters themselves in jeopardy.”