TEN homes were evacuated after fire ripped through an empty Burnley property early this morning.
Around 20 people, including women and children, were forced to flee the blaze which started in a boarded-up terraced house in Bar Street.
Firefighters were called after flames were spotted shooting from both floors of the vacant property at 1-10 a.m.
The fire spread to neighbouring homes on the street but fast-acting fire crews managed to bring the flames under control.
Watch manager Barry Hornsby, of Burnley Fire Station, said: “This could have been a very serious fire. It was down to the good work of the crew to stop it spreading. If they had got to work as quickly it would have definitely been a three house fire.”
The blaze is still under investigation but fire chiefs believe it may have been started deliberately.
The disused property was decimated by fire and the two adjacent homes have been left with damaged to the roof.