Fire crews suspect a group of youths broke their way into a Leyland pub last night, and set fire to the building.
The fire service and police were called to the closed-down Waggon and Horses on Bent Lane, at 7.45pm on Wednesday.
The bathroom area on the first floor was alight when they arrived, and fire had spread to the hallway.
Watch manager Mark Noblett said: “We think it had been burning for quite a while when we got there, but the door of the bathroom was closed, so it was quite contained.
“Locals had seen smoke coming from the window, which was smashed, and there is also evidence of vandalism around the building. A downstairs window and door had also been broken.
“People said they’d seen kids hanging around the pub all week.”
The Waggon and Horses closed a couple of months ago, and plans were passed just last week for the building to be extended and converted into flats for people with mental health problems.
Fire crews are treating the fire as suspicious, and believe the youths may have climbed onto the flat roof near the bathroom, or entered the building from the door downstairs.
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