AN investigation is to be launched after several wheelie bins were set on fire in Widnes in the early hours.

Cheshire and Fire and Rescue Service were called to reports of bins being on fire on Lacey Street at around 5.15am this morning (Saturday, July 30).

However, just 20 minutes later crews were sent to tackle a similar fire on nearby Victoria Road.

The first fire involved three bins and an appliance from Widnes arrived at the scene at 5.13am and put it out using a hose reel jet.

Police were informed of the incident as firefighters suspected foul play.

The Widnes crew were called into action again at 5.33am - this time they were joined by colleagues from Runcorn.

The bins were at the rear of the property and once extinguished, firefighters fully inspected the property to ensure it hadn't spread.

A spokesman for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "A fire involving wheelie bins on Victoria Road is being investigated.

"The fire was at the rear of a building.

"When firefighters had extinguished the blaze they then fully inspected the property to ensure there was no fire spread.

"A fire investigation is being carried out.

"Three wheelie bins had been on fire earlier at the rear of a Lacey Street property.

"A hose reel jet was used by the crew to put out the fire and police were informed as it is suspected the fire was started deliberately."