A FIRE took place at a derelict church in Bacup last night.

The incident took place on July 31 at 7.20pm after reports of a blaze on Alma Street.

Watch manager Chris Howarth said: "We were called to a fire in a derelict church and the call said there were youths in the building.

"On arrival crews found a small fire on the ground floor.

"After searching the building, crews found no people inside. Crews used 1 hose reel to extinguish the fire and four breathing apparatus wearers.

"We would urge people not to go inside the church.

"There is evidence of drug use within the property including used hypodermic needles.

"Youths setting fires inside the property puts them at risk and ties up valuable fire service resources and appliances.

"Four fire engines attended this property leaving Rossendale with little fire cover should there be time critical emergency taking place the same time."