Up to 20 firefighters battled a fierce blaze at a block of flats in Blackpool.
Crews from Forest Gate, South Shore, Bispham and St Annes were called to the “serious” fire, which broke out in a flat on Coronation Street at around 5pm yesterday.
At first it was feared people may have been trapped inside the building, but all residents were later accounted for outside the property.
Crews said no one was injured.
Incident commander Gary West said the cause of the fire was believed to be accidental, possibly sparked by a candle which had been left unattended.
Mr West said: “This was a very serious fire.
“The main seat of the fire was on the first floor, with flames coming out of the windows.
“The room where the fire started has been left badly damaged by heat, fire and smoke.
“In the remainder of the property the communal areas have been damaged by smoke and heat.
“The other flats in the building are mainly undamaged thanks to the fire doors.”
Mr West said the crews were able to put out the flames quickly while firefighters searched the building for any casualties.
But the scenes sparked shock among nearby neighbours who witnessed flames jumping from the flat window as firefighters arrived.
David Ashe, 54, owns the nearby Sorrento hotel on Coronation Street.
He said he saw the large flames coming from the flat windows.
“It was frightening,” he said.
“The flames were right up to the roof and you can see a number of windows have smashed because of the heat for the fire. We didn’t know if anyone was inside at the time.
“I’m so pleased to hear there wasn’t.”