Probe launched into fifth arson attack this year at flats

Three crews were called out to the suspected arson attack in Bag Lane, Atherton
Three crews were called out to the suspected arson attack in Bag Lane, Atherton

An investigation is underway after a fifth arson attack on a block of flats in the borough.

Three people were forced out of their properties following another deliberate fire at a property in Bag Lane, Atherton, at around 9.30pm last night.

And firefighters ensured a fourth resident, said to have been trapped by rising smoke, was safe.

Watch manager Lewis Cross said that crews from Atherton, Hindley and Leigh fire stations were alerted to the incident, amid fears that one of the occupiers could not get out.

This was due to smoke coming from a fire, which had been apparently set in communal areas, between the flats, and was affecting the first and second floors.

Mr Cross added: "We extinguished the fire using two breathing apparatus and a hosereel.

"Three people had self-rescued, prior to our arrival. One person, who was upstairs, was safe within their flat.

"We believe that the fire had been deliberately set and this is the fifth time we have been to this property since July."

A joint inquiry is understood to be underway between Greater Manchester's police and fire services.

Firefighters remained at the scene, including an investigation officer, until just after 11.20pm.

Mr Cross said the damage was mainly restricted to the communal areas.