FURIOUS residents say their street has become a dumping ground after fire blazed through an abandoned house.
People living in Royds Street say the area is full of unoccupied houses which are leading to an increase in vandalism and the dumping of rubbish. And they have called for a clampdown on absent landlords who are not looking after their properties.
Gisela Winkless was forced to flee her home on Monday evening when fire broke out in a nearby empty house, spreading into the attics of the adjoining properties.
She explained that the back door of the house, which is owned by a private landlord, had been open for weeks before the fire, making it easy for intruders to get in.
She claimed the houses were rarely attended to by their owners and had become a dumping ground for rubbish, with three large fires in the past 18 months.
She added: "There are empty houses either side of that property and the vandalism is terrible. In this stretch of 12 houses, seven are empty. On the other side of the road, only four are occupied.
"Last year a lot of old rubbish was put out at one of the empty houses and that was set on fire, and one of the other empty houses was set on fire and now this. People just come and dump rubbish here. It's horrendous. It does not matter how much work you do to your own property.
"It's not just here, it is Cotton Street as well, this whole district is a slum. The landlords take money but they don't want to do any work to the outside of the properties. It is unbelievable what is happening. There are decent people living here but they are so much in the minority."
Gisela said that some properties had been tidied up after intervention from Greg Pope and Hyndburn Council but the area did not stay clean for long.