Safety warning after town centre arson attacks

Firefighters were called to four deliberate fires last night
Firefighters were called to four deliberate fires last night

Firefighters have warned people about the dangers of arson attacks after several incidents overnight.

Crews were called to four deliberate blazes in Leigh town centre between 9.30pm and 12.30am.

It’s only a matter of time before one of the small fires turns into potentially one of the commercial properties being set alight

Stuart Parr, from Leigh fire station

Traffic cones, wooden pallets, cardboard and items removed from a skip were all set alight.

Some of the fires were started on the outdoor market stalls, while one was against Leigh Market Hall.

Stuart Parr, crew manager at Leigh fire station, said: “We have had four different deliberate fires in Leigh town centre, near the market hall, which is a becoming a problem area.

“The fourth one, which was the last one in the middle of the night, was cardboard bales up against the market hall building and it was quite lucky the building itself didn’t catch on fire.”

Mr Parr said he would be contacting Wigan Council to seek CCTV footage of the incidents and see if anything can be done to prevent more fires.

And he warned that the fires could have become much more serious.

He said: “It’s only a matter of time before one of the small fires turns into potentially one of the commercial properties being set alight. It can become quite serious.”

It follows a spate of deliberate fires in Leigh earlier this month.

Numerous blazes took place on Sunday, May 7 and Monday, May 8 involving bins, sofas and the front door of a shop.

They included a wheelie bin set alight next to a house on Youd Street, where the fire ruptured a gas pipe, and a blaze near a substation on Union Street.

After those incidents, station manager Ady Taylor said: “Deliberate fires such as these see our resources being engaged, when they could otherwise be needed at more serious incidents elsewhere.”

Anyone with information about the fires can call police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.