FIREFIGHTERS have warned residents their homes could go up in smoke if they store rubbish in their gardens.

It follows a fire at a house in Norwood Grove, Heaton, at 11pm last night, which started in a pile of rubbish the owner had left outside his back gate.

The fire spread to the garden wall and into a bed and other rubbish left in the back garden.

It took two crews from Bolton central fire station 90 minutes to make the scene safe.

Watch commander Craig Lunt said: “The occupant was awaiting a skip that never turned up and left all the rubbish out for collection, and it appears that someone has set fire to it.

“Luckily, it didn’t spread to the house.

“We would appeal for people to keep such waste in until the skip has arrived to minimise the risk of fires like this.”