Firefighters attended 94 suspected deliberate fires involving rubbish and wheelie bins in Merseyside in a two-week period.
In the first half of the month, between June 1 and June 14 this year, there were 71 fires involving rubbish and 23 wheelie bin fires attended by Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MF&RS).
Of those, there were 48 fires involving rubbish and wheelie bins in Liverpool, 17 in Wirral, 12 in St Helens, 10 in Knowsley and seven in Sefton. It is suspected that the fires were started deliberately.
Ian Mullen, MF&RS Arson Reduction Co-ordinator, said: “Wheelie bin fires can easily spread to buildings, posing a danger to people inside and can cause significant damage to properties.
“Fires involving rubbish can spread rapidly and can be unpredictable due to the waste materials involved.
“If a fire appliance is called out to a deliberate fire, this could also delay the response to other emergencies.
“The fires that we attend are investigated and people should be aware it is a criminal offense to deliberately set fires. We work with the police and partner agencies to identify those responsible for setting fires and if caught they will be prosecuted.”
Since the beginning of March, in the Speke area, firefighters have attended 26 wheelie bin and rubbish fires.
The incidents happened in the early hours of the morning and Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service is urging people to store bins away properly. In some instances the bins have been so close to fences that the fires have spread to the fencing.
Mike Buratti, Liverpool South District Prevention Manager, added: “We would urge people to lock their wheelie bins away securely where possible. Wheelie bins should be stored away from property and should only be put out on the day of collection then brought back in immediately after they have been emptied.”
Anyone who has information relating to a deliberate fire can contact Merseyside Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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