Arson attacks spark police investigation

Crime story
Crime story
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POLICE are investigating after a spate of arson attacks took place within hours of each other.

Emergency services were called out to fires three times within just four hours on Monday evening in Atherton.

Officers have said unused buildings were the target of each separate blaze.

The first incident occurred at an old working men’s club at around 4.25pm on Devonshire Road, opposite a play ground.

Then at around 7pm, fire crews attended a similar incident on Formby Avenue where an unused sofa was set alight in an unsecured, derelict social club.

A window at the property was smashed before the fire was started and the blaze resulted in extensive smoke damage which was limited to one room.

Firefighters in attendance believe arson attacks on this particular property will probably be a regular occurrence until it is properly secured. Finally, at around 8.30pm police were called to a flat fire on Cross Street.

Again a window had been smashed and there have been reports from witnesses who claim to have seen somebody approach the building before igniting it with a flammable liquid and then running away from the scene.

The damage within the property was limited to a TV Cabinet in the corner of a room.

The home is currently occupied but fire officers have said that the owner of the property had previously abandoned it after a series of similar incidences.

Fortunately there were no casualties in each of these incidents.

A spokesman from Atherton fire station said: “Hopefully something will be done soon to secure these buildings and to help prevent future cases of arson on the same properties.”

Police are probing each incident as separate offences.