Cheshire Fire and Rescue believe it is 'only a matter of time' before someone is killed in one of the increasing number of arson attacks on derelict buildings in Ellesmere Port .
Fire crews have had to deal with several deliberate fires in the town in the last few months, most recently at the disused Sutton High School on Mill Lane earlier this week where firefighters risked their lives carrying out a search of the burning building.
It follows a spate of fires at the Greyhound Stadium in recent months, and fire crews say a shocking 56 blazes have been started deliberately in Ellesmere Port since January.
Cheshire Fire Service delivery manager Steve Barnes said: “With incidents like these it is only a matter of time before someone sustains serious injury or, worse, is killed.
"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.
"The crime of arson is extremely dangerous. Fire spreads quickly so what may seem like a small fire can easily become out of control."
He added: "Not only do these fires put the lives of firefighters at risk, they also cause considerable danger to the public because while fire engines are at scenes of arson they are not available to respond to real emergencies.
“I would encourage residents to always report any suspicious activity to the police or anonymously to Crimestoppers.
Anyone with any information about these, or 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.”