A FIRE officer has called on businesses to dispose of their waste responsibly when they leave their old premises.
Watch commander Brian Cadwallader, of Widnes Fire Station, made the appeal after arsonists set fire to office furniture which had been left in a trailer at an abandoned compound in Hale Bank.
Two fire engines attended the fire and investigation revealed it had been started deliberately.
Mr Cadwallader said: 'Unfortunately, this kind of incident is not uncommon.
'Often when companies have finished trading, they leave behind rubbish and unwanted furnishings. In this case, the premises were not secure, which sadly gave an opportunity to vandals to gain entry, resulting in a deliberate fire being started and consequent anti-social behaviour.'
Mr Cadwallader called on businesses to help avoid future incidents by dealing with their waste correctly.
'I would ask local traders who are finishing trade to consider supporting their community and dispose of their waste responsibly,' he said.
'The consequences of leaving premises unsecured are well-known.'
Halton Borough Council offers advice on how to deal with waste and will collect any large items such as furniture.
The waste management division can be contacted on 0151 471 7595.