'Arson attack' at Leyland Warriors rugby clubhouse
More than 40 firefighters were called to a blaze in a rugby clubhouse in Leyland overnight after it was targeted by 'arsonists', say fire services.
Firefighters from across the county including a specialist incident command centre attended the blaze at The Leyland Warriors clubhouse on Moss Side Way, at around 2.00am on May 11.
A spokesman for the fire service said: "Six fire engines from Chorley, Bamber Bridge, Penwortham and Leyland together with a incident command unit from Fulwood attended the incident.
"Crews suspected quite early on that the fire was deliberate.
"They used a hose-reel jet to extinguish the fire, but damage to the clubhouse is considerable."
Rugby players in Leyland have been left devastated by the loss of their clubhouse which they believe will take months to restore.
Chairman of the club, Gary Hill said: "I'm absolutely heartbroken. I was just gutted when I heard the news. I woke up this morning to loads of texts and came straight down to the club.
"I was told a man spotted the fire early on and told staff at a nearby nursing home who then called the fire brigade.
"It looks like the club house will be out of action for months. We usually have meals after games and now we have nowhere to entertain visiting players.
"We have had a few break-ins over the last few months and have been actively fundraising to build a perimeter fence around the clubhouse. This latest incident just shows how desperately we need it.
"This is just the minority spoiling it for the whole community - it's so disheartening to keep getting knocked back."
"But we will continue with our matches as planned including the year 5 and 6 tag rugby festivals scheduled for this evening.
"I've been a member of the club for five years - we are a family run club who just want our members to have fun."
Club bosses are now urging members of the public to remember the club at the 'coin drop' fundraising campaigns at the local Asda and Tesco supermarkets.
A joint police and fire service investigation has been launched.