A MAN suffered burns after trying to move a burning skip which fire crews believe was set on fire deliberately.

The man, in his 20s, had managed to move the skip which was on fire, away from the Spar in New Chapel Street, Blackburn.

He sustained burns to his hand following the fire which broke out at around 11.30pm on Friday.

Four fire crews from Blackburn, Bamber Bridge, Darwen and Hyndburn attended the fire.

It was one of a spate of what fire crews believe were deliberate fires in Mill Hill last night, with firefighters dealing with similar incidents at around the same time in Canal Street and Angela Street.

All the fires are under investigation and are being treated as arson.

Chris Archer, watch manager at Blackburn fire station, said: "The fire happened near to the Spar.

"A passer-by had reported that it may have been affecting the Spar building but a man managed to move it and suffered burns to his hand while doing it.

"The man was is in his 20s and the burns to his hand weren't severe.

"Crews were also dealing with fire involving wheelie bins and rubbish in Canal Street and in Angela Street."

He added: "The fires were put out quickly.

"Enquiries are going but we're treating them as deliberate.

"We suspect some adults that had been drinking at the time are behind it.

"This was a real waste of fire service resources to have to scramble out so many crews when someone could have really been in need elsewhere.

"It's reckless behaviour."

Cllr Jim Smith, who represents the area on Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: "I've not heard about these fires but it's unbelievable that anyone would risk people's lives like this.

"As that's what they're doing as they have no clue how far these fires are going to spread.

"I hope the police catch and prosecute whoever has done this.

"My thoughts are with the man who burnt his hand."

An eyewitness added: "I saw several fire engines. Firefighers were tackling a fire at a skip and involving some rubbish and a bin.

"I'd heard they'd been set on fire deliberately.

"There is a big problem with anti-social behaviour around here."