Probe after spate of arsons

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A SERIES of arson attacks in the Atherton area are being investigated by police.

The Fire Service was called out to three deliberately lit fires involving domestic and industrial refuse bins within a six day period.

The first occurred on the Prestwich Industrial Estate between 9pm and midnight on July 10 when a large waste paper bin was placed against the door of a business premises and set alight, causing the bin to melt and further damage to the premises.

On 15 July 15, between 2.40am and 3.30am a wheelie bin was also deliberately set alight at the back of a shop on Atherton, although it did not cause damage to the store itself.

Finally, police were called to reports of a fire on Prestwich Street, Atherton, at about 3.15am on the same date.

No-one was injured in any of the incidents but police and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service are now investigating the fires.

Sgt John Connor, of the Atherton Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Although no-one has been injured so far, should further attacks occur and a building is set ablaze, there is every chance that persons could be hurt or even killed.

“We are currently examining CCTV footage of the latest incident where an offender is seen setting fire to an industrial refuse bin, near to a building, and then walking away.

“He is described as wearing a blue top and light-coloured shorts.

“I would urge anyone with information to come forward.”

Call police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.