NEIGHBOURS fear a youngster may die in a former Rossendale textiles factory repeatedly hit by fires.

Fire crews were again called to the old Joshua Hoyle Fabrics complex, off Booth Road, Waterfoot, late on Friday night.

The blaze destroyed a 10metre by 20metre section of the plant and an investigation into the cause has been launched.

People living nearby say the Mill End Mill factory has been targeted by teenage intruders every summer since it closed in May 2003.The empty factory stands behind a row of terraces and offices in Burnley Road East.

Neighbour Gemma Goy, of Burnley Road East, said: “It is going to end up with someone dying before they do anything about this.

“We are fed up and ring the police every time we see someone in the building.

"We have seen gangs of up to 20 young people running out of the factory at times.”

Plans were unveiled several years ago by Seddon Homes to demolish the factory and build a number of properties, which won the support of residents.

But the proposals were turned down by Rossendale Council development control committee and later rejected by a planning inspector, after the developer lodged a formal appeal.

Contractors have now boarded up one of the main sections at the building after the weekend blaze when three houses backing on to the factory were evacuated.