WOULD-be arsonists got onto the roof of a former mill and poured flammable liquid over the electrics in a bungled attempt to cause ‘devastating damage’.

Police said the offenders climbed up a ladder onto the roof of Britannia Mill in Great Harwood, home to Prophysique Fitness Centre, before breaking in.

Det Insp Nikki Bithell, from Lancashire Police’s eastern division CID, said that had the fire taken hold, there would have been ‘devastating’ damage.

The mill, in Britannia Street, was broken into between 10pm on Thursday and 7am yesterday ((FRI)).

It was open for business as usual yesterday morning.

The manager of the business said crime scene investigators had been scouring the building for clues and had taken CCTV from the nearby health centre.

Det Insp Bithell appealed for anybody with information to call police.

She said: “This incident could have been really serious.

“The offenders used a ladder to get up onto the roof and they entered by making a hole in it.

“They then poured accelerants over the electrics and attempted to set fire to it.

“It is lucky it did not take hold because, potentially, it could have been devastating for the building.”

The detective said the gym was empty at the time of the attack.

Det Insp Bithell also called for anybody who noticed any suspicious activity around the time of the break-in to come forward.

She said: “We are still looking for clues, but I would appeal for anybody who has had their ladder stolen to call us.”

Anybody with information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.