Man arrested after New Year's Eve house fire
A man has been arrested after a house was torched on a Wigan estate.
Firefighters spent two hours battling a blaze at a vacant council house on Forest Avenue in Beech Hill last night.
The crew got the call at around 11.30pm after neighbours saw flames coming from the downstairs windows of the unoccupied house.
Three engines from Wigan and Hindley attended the scene and firefighters wore breathing apparatus as they tackled the fire which "completely destroyed" the property. They also used pressure fans to clear smoke and check for any people trapped inside the property.
Watch manager, Craig Cubbins told Wigan Today: "Once again this is a waste of tax payers money. There are people on the housing waiting list and people are burning houses down.
"The house was what we call 'well alight'. There was smoke pouring from the property and flames coming out of the ground floor windows. Because it is empty it had been burning for quite some time before neighbours noticed.
"We were spread pretty thin last night. Our other engine was at an incident in Liverpool. This is why we really don't like these malicious incidents, it ties us up for when people do need us. Everyone was stretched last night."
The incident occurred just weeks after another council property was torched in Kitt Green.
On Sunday, December 17, three engines spent more than an hour fighting flames at a house on Heyford Road after it was deliberately set alight.
Watch manager Cubbins added: "Not only is it costing money now but it's wasting valuable resources."