A lady was trapped in her own home and residents left terrified after a bin was set on fire outside a flat.

At around 1.45pm on Saturday, residents in the Saint Leger Court flats in Accrington called the fire service when a bin was set alight outside the front door of a ground floor flat, leaving a first floor resident unable to escape.

Maggie Leslie provided the Lancashire Telegraph with images of the aftermath of the fire, and said she believes a group of youths were responsible for the incident.

Ms Leslie, who lives on the estate, said residents in the area, many of whom are elderly, are sick to death of the anti-social behaviour but are scared of the threat the youths pose.

She said: "I live at Saint Leger Court flats, which are owned by Onward Homes.

"We have had issues with a group of youths hanging around for about 12 months, intimidating residents, throwing take-away packets on the floor, and being generally abusive if anyone asks why they are there.

"Onward Homes have been informed many times and they have had pictures of the youths sent to them and nothing has been done.

"This afternoon, one of the youths thought it would be funny to set a bin on fire outside one of the flats.

"A lady trapped in one of the upstairs flats was screaming for help.

"I don't find it funny, as now we have a group of residents who are terrified to be in their own homes.

"We are having a residents meeting next week to talk about moving forward, and will be discussing getting cameras installed for each individual flat.

"I'm so angry - they have no respect for anything.

"The police have been informed, and we've asked them for support previously but nothing gets done."

The Lancashire Telegraph believe the woman from the first floor flat was taken to hospital, and although a little shaken up, is now staying with friends.

Another resident, Kathryn Davies, said: "I live in one of the blocks and I walk out of my door and the gang of youths are always there.

"They have thrown stones at my cat and thrown rubbish over my fence.

"They don't even live on the block."

MP for Hyndburn, Sara Britcliffe, was informed of the situation and replied to residents' concerns via social media, saying: "I will write to Onward about this and contact the police."

A spokesperson for the fire service said: "At 1.46pm on Saturday three fire engines from Hyndburn, Rawtenstall and Burnley responded to a persons reported building fire at St Leger Court in Accrington.

"Three casualties were treated by paramedics.

"Crews used two breathing apparatus and one hose reel to extinguish the fire which involved wheelie bins.

"Firefighters were at the scene for one hour and forty minutes."

A spokesperson for Onward Homes said: “The safety and welfare of our residents is always our first priority and our safer neighbourhoods team visited Saint Leger Court on Monday to discuss the bin fire and concerns with residents including Ms Leslie.

"We have no previous recorded incidents of youth nuisance at Saint Leger Court but we are working closely with the residents and police to take every step possible to try and ensure an incident like this does not happen again.

"We will also seek to meet with the local councillors, MP and residents to discuss all their issues and concerns.

"All our residents have the right to feel safe in their own homes and Onward will not tolerate intimidation or anti-social behaviour against our communities.”

The police have also been contacted for a statement.