RECKLESS vandals were today blasted by firefighters for putting a gas cylinder on top of a burning bin.

It is the latest in a spate of arson attacks in Crow Wood Park in Widnes.

Fire chiefs fear it could cause an explosion.

Andy Royle, Runcorn Fire Station manager, said: "This sort of crime is extremely dangerous. Any fire puts the lives of the public and firefighters at considerable risk but involving cylinders increases that risk even more.

“There is a very real danger that cylinders involved in fire could explode and seriously injure or kill not only the firesetter but innocent passers-by or emergency service personnel dealing with the incident.

"We really would like people to be on their guard and report anyone they see lighting fires. Arson incidents take up a lot of valuable time and resources.

“We would therefore urge anyone with information about this sort of behaviour to report it.”

The first arson attack happened shortly before 9pm on Friday, February 28, the second was just before 7.45pm on Sunday, March 2.

A 12kg gas cylinder was placed on top of a wheelie bin at around 9.40pm on Tuesday, March 4.

Anyone with information is urged to call Cheshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.