Firefighters have expressed concern following a series of arson attacks in Chester .

In the last three months, 17 deliberate fires have been reported in Blacon and Westminster Park, costing the taxpayer thousands of pounds to clear.

Not only does the average wheelie bin fire costs the tax payer around £250, firefighters warn the consequence of an arson attack could cost someone their life if a fire engine is unavailable to respond to more serious incidents.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service are appealing to members of the community to remain vigilant and report any incidents, no matter how small.

Steve Barnes, service delivery manager for Cheshire West and Chester, said it is only a matter of time before someone is killed as a result of an arson attack.

“We work very closely with the police and other partner agencies to tackle this ongoing issue of deliberate fires and this will continue, but we also need residents to be aware and help us where they can,” he said.

“Fire spreads quickly so what may seem like a small fire can easily become out of control.

“Not only do these fires put the lives of firefighters at risk, they also cause considerable danger to the public because responding to incidents of arson could delay firefighters in getting to a real emergency.

“What arsonists don’t realise is that it could be their friends of family members who are in need of rescue in an emergency.

“I would encourage residents to always report any suspicious activity to the police or anonymously to Crimestoppers.

“The crime of arson is extremely dangerous and with incidents like these, it is only a matter of time before someone sustains serious injury or, worse, is killed.”

Anyone with any information about similar incidents or who sees fires being deliberately set is urged to call Cheshire Police on 101.

Information can also be passed on anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.