FIRE chiefs have hit out at arsonists after an industrial bin blaze in St Helens was one of 17 deliberate fires in the region started within a 14 hour period at weekend.

The incident on Duke Street in St Helens happens at about 5.30am on Saturday morning and required and required two engines being called out.

There was also a rubbish fire on the East Lancashire Road, near Moss Bank, on Friday night at 11pm.

Station Manager Franny Hill said: "If a fire appliance is attending a deliberate fire it may delay the response to other emergencies.

"Grass fires and rubbish fires can spread quickly and get out of control.

"Where possible residents are advised to lock their wheelie bins away and store them away from their property.

"We investigate all fires we are called to and pass information on to the police. Deliberately setting fires on grass land and open spaces is arson and those caught will be prosecuted."