ARSONISTS have struck again at a fire hotspot — this time targeting wheelie bins.

A householder raised the alarm at about 8.50pm on Wednesday when a blaze was spotted next to a small building used as changing rooms for the football pitches in Barlow Park, Sharples.

Three grey wheelie bins had been dragged from houses in Barlow Park Avenue and set alight next to the building.

Firefighters managed to stop the fire spreading to the changing rooms.

It was the latest in a series of arson attacks in the area; firefighters say they have been called out to scores of car and wheelie bin fires in the past year.

The nearby children’s play centre in the park and former Oldhams primary school building have been set on fire several times in the past few months, while last November a garage was set on fire in Old Road.

Lynne Lowe, of Barlow Park Avenue, said it was the third time she has had her bin taken. Miss Lowe said: “My grey bin has gone again. This is the third time this has happened.

“And I had not left it out on the street. It was inside my fence. It’s costing us a fortune because we’ll have to pay to replace it. I’m angry at the moment but there is a lot of trouble all around this park and it upsets a lot of residents.” Another Barlow Park Avenue resident, who asked not to be named, said: “I could see all of the smoke and flames coming from the other side of the changing rooms there. It’s very worrying for people who live around here.”

Firefighter crew manager Alex Sugden, from Bolton North fire station, said: “Our advice to residents is not to leave wheelie bins on the street because opportunist arsonists will get hold of them. If it’s possible, residents should take them into the garden. Bin fires can potentially be very dangerous.”

Anyone with information can call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.