Appliances from Preston, Fulwood, Bamber Bridge, Penwortham, Leyland and Hyndburn, together with an aerial ladder platform, were called to the former Mokai nightspot in Church Street at around 1am.
Crews wearing breathing apparatus conducted a thorough search of the building and put out a fire in a large quantity of rubbish inside.
The cause of the blaze is now under investigation.
A fire brigade spokesman said: “We needed that number of appliances because we needed the breathing apparatus crews to search the building.
“The building was smoke logged and we needed to make sure that there was no-one inside, like squatters. But it was empty.
“The fire involved a large quantity of rubbish. What caused it is currently being investigated.”
The building has housed a number of nightclubs, most recently Mokai. It was originally the Ritz Cinema and became Scamps, Brooks, The Place, Arabellas, Aqualenium, Ethan Jones, The Ritz, PR1 and Rumes.
It has been empty for some time.