Detectives are investigating after bungling thieves tried to steal cash from an ATM in Padiham.
The offenders pulled up at the Texaco Service Station on Burnley Road before inserting some sort of incendiary device and a cloth into the cash machine which then exploded and caught fire.
The hapless thieves then tried to put the fire out before fleeing empty handed in a black estate, believed to be an Audi A4 with the number plates removed.
The incident happened at about 1am on Tuesday morning although it was only reported to police yesterday afternoon.
The service station was cordoned off while the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team investigated the device and ensured the area was safe.
A police investigation is now under way to trace the offenders.
The incident is not linked to the report of a suspicious package at Burnley Cricket Club on the same day.
Det. Insp. Andy Horne, of East CID, said: “We are treating this incident extremely seriously and have a team of investigators carrying out a number of specialist enquiries to try to identify the people responsible.
“We are grateful to our friends from the EOD for attending and ensuring the area was safe for us to carry out our investigations and we have also made sure that we have shared information with industry partners so they can take appropriate action.
“We need the public’s help as they are our eyes and ears. They could have information which helps us identify those responsible for this offence and they can help by reporting any other suspicious activity around banks or ATMs.
“I would urge anyone with information to contact us.”
Anyone with information should contact police on 101 quoting log number 0849 of September 24th or independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.