ARSONISTS have been on the rampage, setting fire to wheelie bins across Great Lever.

Four fires were started in less than two hours in the area previously named as Greater Manchester’s third worst “hot spot” for wheelie bin fires.

Police are investigating and suspect the fires were started by a serial arsonist.

Firefighters were called to the first bin blaze in Freshfield Avenue at 1.25am, to Division Street where a bin outside a house has been set alight at 1.20am, to Rishton Lane at 2am and Rupert Street at 2.48am, where a bin was set on fire in an alleyway.

Andy Hardman, watch manager at Bolton Central, said: “We think it was probably youths but we would like to ask homeowners to only put their bins out on the collection day and then bring them in straight away to stop this kind of thing happening.

“Don’t put bins near your property as there is the possibility that it could spread to buildings.”

Hameeda Begum, aged 71, and her granddaughter, Alana Mian, aged four, died after a burning wheelie bin was pushed against the family’s home in Little Holme Walk, in Great Lever, on June 23, 2008.

Following the fatal fire, firefighters and the council warned people of the dangers of not securing bins as soon as they are collected by posting fire safety messages on the side of bin wagons, posters in libraries, shops and council offices.

Figures from Greater Manchester Fire Service last year revealed there were 150 deliberate fires in Great Lever within a year, mainly involving wheelie bins, skips or mounds of rubbish.

There were 1,115 across Bolton, with other hotspots including Farnworth, with 115, and Halliwell and Crompton, with 91.

In the wake of the figures, Bolton Council , in partnership with the police and firefighters, launched a campaign to clamp down on wheelie bins being left out overnight.

Advisory letters were sent out to householders who failed to listen to the advice.