This was the scene of devastation after a fire tore through a city centre shisha pipe cafe.
Firefighters were called to SL Sheesha Cafe in Manchester Road, Avenham, Preston, at around 1.30am on Monday morning, after plumes of black smoke were seen in the area.
They found the building, which was previously a garage and gym, already well alight.
And when firefighters forced their way inside, they discovered there had already been an attempt to gain entry to the cafe.
Senior fire investigators and police detectives are analysing the incident.
The cafe’s owner, Taahir Amar, said he was now counting the cost of the blaze.
He said: “I am very upset. I was there yesterday and there is not much left to see.
“They were saying it started in the back room, but they don’t know how yet. They said it was suspected to be arson.
“It was a good business and it was popular with the community, so this has just come suddenly out of the blue.
“Hopefully they can find something in these investigations. It’s a busy street so there should be a lot of cameras.”
SL Sheesha Cafe opened in January last year, with prices starting at £7 for a single fruit flavoured tobacco pipe.
Its profile on www.shishaspot.com and Facebook said it was known for “brilliant sheeshas, using only original Al Fakher and Starbuzz flavours.”
The cafe, which could be hired for parties, was open until midnight from Monday to Thursday and on Sunday, and until 1am on Friday and Saturday.
It had seating for more than 70 people, along with a punch bag, pool tables, big projector screen, free WIFI and Sky TV.
Mr Amar said: “I don’t have insurance for the building because it is rented, but I’ve got insurance for the contents.
“But that only covers stock, so I’ve lost a lot of other equipment.”
Watch manager Graham Nelson said crews had to cut the roller shutter off the front of the building to start fighting the fire, which he described as “suspicious”.
He said: “We had 10 firefighters in breathing apparatus tackling it for more than five hours.
“It was a total burn out.”
Parts of Manchester Road and Church Street were temporarily closed by police.
A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “We are aware of this incident and we have been making some enquiries to try and establish whether it was suspicious or not.
“At this stage it is not clear, but enquiries are ongoing.”