Skelmersdale arson victims 'lucky to be alive'

Firefighters who rescued two neighbours from their homes after a suspected arson attack have said they are "lucky to be alive".

A fire in wheelie bins spread to a row of terraced properties in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, at 0500 GMT.

Crews managed to lead the man and woman to safety before their homes became too heavily smoke-logged.

"If the man had not woken up we would have been looking at two fatalities," station commander Steve Wilson said.

The male was taken to hospital as a precaution.

"We are involved in a joint investigation with the police and we have set up a working group to address the problems of fires in wheelie bins," Mr Wilson said.

"Obviously the wheelie bins aren't designed for what purpose some people have decided to use them for."

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