NEIGHBOURS are fearing for their safety after a man's bedroom was burned to the ground by a gang of yobs.
Pensioner Charlotte Greer has felt too scared to leave her bungalow after dark since youths set fire to her neighbour's terraced home while he was enjoying a night out with friends.
Sixty-nine-year-old Charlotte returned home to the smell of choking black smoke and the sight of flashing emergency lights outside her drive at about 6.10pm on Thursday, November 11.
The damage was so severe that the victim of the arson attack, Paul Bermingham, was forced to pack up and move out of his boarded-up home on Cotton Lane.
Police and firefighters are investigating the incident, which they say caused 100% fire damage to the ground-floor bedroom and 90% smoke damage to the rest of the house.
Charlotte said: 'I am very shocked that this has happened and I can only believe that teenagers are responsible.
'The fire was that bad that the smell of smoke engulfed my property and you can still smell evidence of the fumes even now.
'As soon as it happened, I arranged for my son to come and get me and I stayed the night in Manchester as I couldn't abide the smoke.
'He kept telling me it could have been me and that I don't know how lucky I was to escape. It's funny because I didn't notice any trouble that night at all and I don't know how they managed it.
'They must have clambered over the wall of his house and round the front but it can't have been that easy as he always keeps broken glass on the wall in order to keep people away.'
The arson incident is the latest in a spate of vandal attacks to occur at Halton Lodge and residents are now pointing the finger of blame at youths who have been spotted hanging around the busways.
George Norton, 69, lives with his partner on the corner of Cotton Lane and says he is fed up with anti-social-behaviour problems plaguing the area.
He has told youths off for breaking up railings surrounding the busways and clambering on his roof in the middle of the night.
George said: 'I'm just like everybody in this road - I just want to live in peace and be left alone.
'I'm sick of hearing teenagers making noise on the busways in the week as it's relentless when you're trying to get to sleep.
'They don't seem to care about anyone else and I'm sure it's the same people who started the fire at my neighbour's house.
'They graffiti the busways and throw beer bottles in people's gardens all the time.
'You can hear them shouting at each other and it's like a rat-run in this place as they come past my house from all different directions and use people's alleyways.'
Sub-officer Sean Henshaw, of Runcorn Fire Service, said: 'The crews were there for about two and a half hours as it was quite a severe fire at the terraced bungalow.
'It was deliberate ignition and is now being investigated.'