A FIRE believed to have been started deliberately broke out in the basement of a church yesterday afternoon, Thursday.

Three fire engines were sent to St Thomas Church in Chapel Street in Leigh at around 2.10pm where smoke was reported to have been coming from the building.

Firefighters arrived and found a large amount of rubbish was ablaze in the basement.

They used a positive ventilation pressure fan, two breathing apparatus and one hose reel to extinguish the flames.

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Crews were in attendance until around 4pm.

A Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said the fire was caused by a "suspected deliberate ignition" and handed the incident over to the police.

If you have any information contact police on 101.