A DERELICT chapel has been targeted for the fourth time in a month as vandals started a fire on the first floor.

Crews from Bacup, Haslingden and Rawtenstall and an aerial platform from Hyndburn were called to the former Millgate Chapel on Market Street in Shawforth at 10.16pm on Saturday night.

Crew manager Chris Haworth said: "On arrival crews found two seats of fire, one of them a significant fire on the first floor which spread to the roof of the building. 

"Four breathing Apparatus wearers using two hose reels extinguished the fire along with the Ariel Ladder Platform. 

"Firefighters with hand held jets also assisted extinguishing the fire.

"Crews were in attendance for approximately six and a half hours. 

"This is another significant, deliberate fire and it is the fourth one in over a month at this property.

"The fire service would urge people not to enter the church.

"The conditions within the building are treacherous with missing hand rails on the stairs and dangerous floors and stair threads throughout the building.

"Setting deliberate fires ties up valuable fire service resources and should a life-threatening incident take place at the same time, fires like this puts lives at risk."