FIREFIGHTERS are warning of the dangers of leaving bins out after four were targeted by arsonists in Horwich.

One bin was set alight in Tredgold Street, off Chorley New Road, at 11.17pm on Friday.

Minutes later, at 11.42pm, firefighters were called to nearby Hawksley Street where three bins were on fire.

Bins had been left out ready for a collection on Saturday following the Christmas disruption.

Residents in Hawksley Street, who asked not to be named, were scared by the incident. Three bins caught light and spread to the fence.

One woman said: “We had a knock at the back door and we wondered who it would be at that time of night.

“When they said it was the fire service we opened the door and were hit by the smoke.

“It was absolutely awful. We shut the door quickly, but could not sleep because of the smell of burning plastic.

“We don’t know who called the fire service, but if they had not it could have spread to the house. It is very frightening.”

A campaign was launched in Bolton in a bid to cut wheelie bin fires after the death of Hameeda Begum, aged 71, and her granddaughter, Alana Mian, aged four. Fire had spread to their house in Little Holme Walk, Great Lever, when a wheelie bin was set alight.

The campaign aimed to get residents to put their bins out on the morning of collection, and take them in quickly once they had been emptied, to prevent them being targeted.

Watch manager at Horwich fire station, Glyn McGann, said: “We are reminding people about leaving their bins out before and after collections.

“People need to be vigilant in Horwich as there is someone who is setting fire to bins for anti-social fun.”

The police have been informed and are investigating.

l—Fire chiefs have issued a warning to would-be arsonists about the potentially dangerous consequences of their actions, following a simliar incident in Walkden.

Crews from Farnworth attended when a bin was deliberately set on fire next to a flat in Sportside Avenue at 7.30pm on Friday.

It took the crew 20 minutes to douse the flames from the bin left next to the property.

Crew commander Steve Coote said: “This incident acts as a warning to people setting bins on fire next to houses. There can be extremely dangerous and sometimes tragic consequences to these types of deliberate bin fires.”

No one was injured in the incident.