THE boss at Rawtenstall Market says ‘it will be business as usual’ despite an arsonist's attempt to burn down her outdoor stalls.

At shortly before 10pm on Monday, firefighters were called to the Newchurch Road market after reports that a locked wooden cabin style stall had been set alight.

Firefighters put out the blaze quickly to restrict the amount of fire damage to one stall.

Only two adjacent stalls suffered moderate smoke and heat damage.

Fire investigators believe the fire was started deliberately on the outside of the cabin.

Stall holder Ann Duffy, 68, of Hall Carr Road, Rawtenstall, has been on the market for 23 years.

She said: “I have been down to the stall and the inside is a real mess.

"I'm not sure how much is saveable. This isn't the first time something like this has happened, 10 years ago someone threw fireworks at it.”

Mrs Duffy was not insured against deliberate damage and estimates about £2,000 worth of stock was on the stall.

Catherine Price, area market manager, said: “The market will be open on Thursday and I can guarantee it will be business as usual.”

The targeted stall, which sells small electrical items, will now have to remain closed until repair work is carried out.

Rawtenstall Fire Station Watch Manager Steven Barnes said: “If we had got there any later the fire would probably have spread to the entire market.”

A police spokesman said: “We have launched an investigation to find the person who deliberately targeted this business.”