POLICE are hunting for a group of youths who set fire to a sofa outside a flat.

Firefighters were called to Melrose Gardens, Radcliffe, at 8.30pm on Monday after a passer-by noticed the sofa was alight and next to the building.

The flames were out when they arrived and the people inside the property were unharmed.

But the emergency services are concerned the incident could have been much more serious.

Steve Wilcock, watch manager at Bury fire station, said: “If the fire had taken hold of the sofa, it could have spread to the flat and people could have been injured.

“There have been a number of incidents where fires have spread to houses with serious consequences. Although the outcome wasn’t too serious, it could have been worse.”

It is thought the same group of youths also set alight a wheelie bin in nearby Abbey Close 10 minutes earlier.

Anyone with information can call 101 or Crimestopppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.