A NOTORIOUS Rossendale mill has been targeted by arsonists again.

Three fire crews were called to a deliberate blaze at Albert Mill, in Whitworth, at around 8.40pm last night.

The Market Street building has been set alight dozens of times in the past decade, most notably when firefighter Chris Farrow fell through a hole in the floor and broke his back while answering an emergency call there in May 2009.

Chris Howarth, watch manager at Bacup fire station, issued a stern warning after the latest incident.

He said: "Fire crews are urging members of the public to keep out of Albert Mill as it is in a very poor state of repair and poses risks to anyone who enters, including the emergency services.

"Albert Mill was the scene of a serious accident a few years ago when a firefighter fell through a hole in the floor whilst searching for a deliberately set rubbish fire. This could easily happen to anyone who enters the building.

"Nuisance rubbish fires tie up fire service resources when they could be needed at a house fire or road traffic collision where somebody is trapped and requires an immediate response."

The crew from Bacup and their colleagues from Rochdale used a water jet to deal with a large fire containing items of waste, including numerous car tyres, at the rear of the derelict mill.

Mr Howarth added: "Upon arrival at the scene crews also noticed smoke issuing from the mill itself as a result of another deliberately set rubbish fire."

Last May, Rossendale Council granted outline permission to Leonard Curtis LPA, which submitted plans to turn the mill into 49 homes.