‘Suspicious’ fire near gas mains

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Police are investigating a ‘suspicious’ fire which broke out between two homes in Lancaster.

Fire crews were called to Chestnut Grove at around 1pm today (Saturday) and found that a pile of rubbish was alight in an alleyway between two houses.

Watch manager Warren Topp said: “It was quite dangerous because the fire was right next to the main gas supply to the houses, so if it had been left undetected any longer, there could have been very different circumstances.

“The alleyway was covered by a roof, which was the bedroom floor to one of the houses, and there were people in both homes, including a family, so it could have been much worse.

“As it happened, a neighbour saw the smoke and called us, and we used a hose reel to put it out.”

The cause of the fire is under investigation by police, who are treating it as suspicious.

Watch Manager Topp added: “The alleyway was gated but the gate was open, so we would advise people to make sure that alleys are left secure.”