Fire crews and police were called to three separate incidents on Friday evening which they believe may be linked.
A report of a fire in the grounds of Clitheroe Castle was received at around 5 pm, which fire crews quickly attended.
At around 7 pm, police received further reports that youths had set fire to bins in the vicinity of the skate park, also within the grounds of the castle.
The fire crew attending the skate park fire arrived at the scene but were then immediately re-directed as reports of a more urgent incident – a fire in a garage at the rear of the Swan and Royal Hotel in Castle Street – were received at approximately 7-15 pm.
The fire was well alight when patrols arrived, but was swiftly dealt with by the fire crew. Damage had been sustained to numerous items within the garage and also to a vehicle belonging to a hotel resident which was parked nearby.
Clitheroe Fire Station Watch Manager Dave McGrath said: “We suspect that all three incidents are linked and we are liaising with our partner agencies to apprehend those responsible.
“We would urge anyone with any information at all regarding any of the incidents to contact Crime Stoppers on 0800 555111.”
Lancashire Police are working with the fire service to establish what happened and are appealing for witnesses.
PC Mark Parrington said: “A potentially serious incident was narrowly avoided, due only to the fact that fire crews were already in the area and therefore able to deal with the garage fire quickly.
“We could have potentially been looking at much more serious damage to the shop premises directly above the garage and of course, possible human casualties.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact PC 3612 Mark Parrington at Clitheroe police station or to call police on 101.