Firefighters, who spent four hours battling a house blaze last night, returned to their station to find it had been broken into.
Crews returned to Nelson Fire Station at 5am to discover thieves had broken in to the Bradley Road premises and stolen a number of personal items including wallets and watches.
The raiders also caused a lot of damage after forcing entry through internal doors and ransacking most of the rooms in the station.
The break-in happened sometime between 12-30am and 5am while firefighters were dealing with a serious house blaze in Whitehall Street, Nelson.
Lancashire Police have now launched an appeal for witnesses.
PS Kathryn Mather. of Lancashire Police, said: “This is a disgraceful crime against our emergency services colleagues who were out doing their job and protecting the public.
“We’re committed to finding those responsible and are appealing to anyone with information to get in touch.
"If you saw anybody acting suspiciously in the area, please let us know."
Anyone with information is asked to contact police by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org , or call 101 quoting log number 173 of 22nd June.