Three fires believed to have been started deliberately in less than two hours in Runcorn

Firefighters extinguished three fires that are believed to have been started deliberately in the Halton Lodge area of Runcorn overnight.

No-one was hurt by the fires, which are being investigated by Cheshire Constabulary.

Firefighters were called to the first fire in the open shortly after 7pm yesterday, Sunday 7 July.

They found approximately two square metres of wood alight under a footbridge at a busway in the Whitchurch Way area.

Around half-an-hour later firefighters were called to a deep-seated fire involving wood and wood chippings in the Weston Link area of Halton Lodge.

Then at around 8.45pm firefighters had to deal with a fire involving a quantity of rubbish in Halton Lodge Avenue. Crews from Runcorn, Widnes and Penketh fire stations extinguished the fires using water.

Such fires can lead to larger, potentially life-threatening blazes and they also take vital resources away from other incidents.

Runcorn Fire Station Manager Stuart Devereux said: “We are concerned by the fact that three fires are believed to have been started deliberately in the Halton Lodge area within such a short space of time.

“We urge those responsible to stop starting fires.

“Fire spreads quickly, so what may seem like a small fire can easily become out of control and put properties and lives at risk.

“Small fires that are started deliberately also damage the environment and tie up resources, meaning that it will take longer for fire crews to respond to emergencies, such as house fires.

“A fire can start anywhere and I would like to say to those who deliberately start fires that it could be your family or friends that we are delayed in getting to and trying to save because we have to put out a fire that is completely avoidable.

“We will actively pursue anyone found to be setting fires deliberately and involve the police.”

Sergeant Neil Anson, of Runcorn Local Policing Unit, said: “We are keeping an open mind as to whether the three fire incidents in Runcorn are linked and are urging anyone with information about them to get in touch with the team here at Runcorn Police Station.

“Perhaps you were in the area and saw a fire being started, or maybe you have information or CCTV or dashcam footage regarding the people responsible.”

Anyone with relevant information or CCTV footage should call Cheshire Constabulary on 101, quoting IML 449529 (Whitchurch Way area), IML 449605 (Weston Link area) or IML 449619 (Halton Lodge Avenue), give the details via General Enquiries or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Dashcam footage can be submitted online via Dashcam footage

In the event of a fire call Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service on 999.

Date published: Mon, 08 Jul 2019 15:41:01 GMT