ARSONISTS who torched waste which had been fly-tipped in an alleyway have been warned that they could have killed somebody.

Firefighters were called to the fire which was in an alleyway between Randal Street and Victoria Street at 2pm yesterday.

Nobody was injured in the incident and firefighters managed to extinguish the fire before it spread to buildings.

Business owners and councillors have hit out at the arsonists and said the incident should be a wake-up call to the fly-tippers who have plagued the area for months.

Shear Brow ward councillor Hussain Akhtar said: “This has made me very angry. As councillors we work to improve the town and the last thing we need is incidents like this.

“It was lucky the firefighters got here so quickly and managed to put it out. Otherwise somebody could have easily been killed.

“As a community we can only do so much but people have to be responsible for their own actions.

"I will be raising the fly-tipping issue at our next council meeting and seeing what more we can do.

"Hopefully we can get some cameras put in the alleyway so we can prosecute anyone who is fly-tipping.”

Adile Khalil, from Pepe’s Piri Piri which backs onto the alleyway, said: “When I smelt the smoke I thought it was my grill. I opened the back door and saw all the waste on fire. Thankfully it didn’t spread into any of the businesses but it easily could have.

“This should act as a huge wake-up call to these people and the whole community. We are all absolutely fed up with the fly-tippers.

“We spent three hours cleaning this alleyway in December and collected 56 bin bags worth of rubbish.

“Something else needs to be done to stop this. Maybe the council can put some extra bins in the alleyway.”

Blackburn Station watch manager Rob Birtwistle said: “When we arrived there were several bags of rubbish and commercial waste piled up against a building.

"If we had not been alerted this could have been far more seriously.

Tony Watson, head of Environment and Public Protection at the council, said: “This shows what a blight and a hazard fly-tipping can be. It is disgusting, anti-social, and a criminal offence and anyone caught carrying this out will be prosecuted."

Anyone with information about the fire can call police on 101.