MORE people have died in non-accidental fires than accidental fires in the past five years in Bolton.

Figures released by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS), have revealed that between 2007/8 and 2011/12, seven people died in non-accidental fires in Bolton, including suicide bids and arson attacks.

During the same period, four people died in accidental fires. This category include blazes caused by electrical faults, carelessly discarded cigarettes, candles and contact with heat or flames.

In Greater Manchester, the number of people dying as a result of non-accidental fires exceeded the number of people dying in accidental fires, for the first time, during 2011 and 2012.

The figures have been released as GMFRS have changed the way they view fires, to look at them all as preventable, including people who have taken their own lives.

GMFRS want to work with councils, health providers and the police to reduce deaths. Geoff Harris, head of protection for GMFRS, said: “We firmly believe every single fire and fire death is preventable but we just can’t do it on our own and need the help of other agencies.

“This year is the first year we have seen more people die because of non-accidental fires and we will be looking at how we can tap into other agencies to tackle that.”