FIREFIGHTERS are warning of a large increase in the number of arson incidents in Crewe over recent months.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has seen a significant increase in deliberate fires in May and June this year compared with previous years.

The number of deliberately started fires has been fairly steady over the past few years, with an average of 18 incidents in May and June since 2014, but this year, that number has doubled to 36.

Most of the fires involve people setting fire to rubbish or trees and bushes.

Whilst the fires themselves may not be large incidents they could lead to a larger fire, while they also take vital resources away from other incidents.

Stephen McCormick, station manager at Crewe fire station, said: “We have been going to more and more deliberate fires in recent months and every arson incident is potentially dangerous.

"The incident could escalate beyond the initial fire but it also means that it will take longer for our crews to respond to actual emergencies, such as house fires, because we are tied up putting out these fires which are totally avoidable.

“A fire can start anywhere and it could be your family that we are delayed in getting to because we have to put out a bin fire.”

Anyone with information about arson incidents should contact Cheshire Police on 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.