A FIRE chief said a pile of dumped rubbish on Barrow Island was the worst case of fly-tipping he had ever seen and posed a 'huge risk to life'.

Roger Exley, Barrow station manager, has spoken out after fire crews were called out to water down a huge amount of waste outside at Egerton Court as a precaution.

Mr Exley said the fire service was working with the police and Barrow Borough Council to tackle the growing issue of fly-tipping in the area.

Crews were also called out after an arson attack on fly-tipped rubbish at Avon Street allotments on Walney on May 15.

Mr Exley said dealing with such incidents can delay response times to other callouts which could risk lives.

“The incident at Egerton Court (on May 17) was the worst I have ever seen," he said.

"There was a huge risk to life if there was a fire because the fly-tipping had covered exits and was below open windows.

“We could be in a position where we lose a building or even a life because of this.

“As tips have now reopening, we would like to see a reduction in this sort of behaviour.

"It is a problem and it is something that we are trying to control.

“Without the help of the police and the council on this matter we would struggle.”

Cllr Steve Robson, Barrow Borough Council spokesperson for the environment, said: “We have noticed a significant increase in fly-tipping since the lockdown began, worsened in recent weeks by a number of cases of arson. To prevent this, our teams are carrying out extra checks of streets across the borough as well as responding promptly to reports of fly-tipping from members of the public. Fly-tipping is illegal. It’s a matter we take incredibly seriously and we will not hesitate to prosecute those found responsible.”

Detective Constable Sarah Knight said: “We are asking the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to us on 101 and report any fly tipping to Barrow Borough Council .”