RESIDENTS were evacuated from their homes following a suspected arson attack on an empty house in Pearl Street, Accrington, early this morning (Thursday).
Fire crews from Accrington and Oswaldtwistle arrived at around 3.34am and found an empty house well alight. They told residents in two houses to get out as the fire was spreading along the roofs of the row of terraced houses.
Firefighters believe it was started deliberately by someone who gained entry into the house through an insecure back door.
Sub Officer Gary Ibbitson, who led the operation, said: "We believe someone started the fire on purpose. We suspect petrol was used because of the ferocity of the fire. It had gone from the ground floor all the way up to the roof. It got into the roof voids and spread along five roofs."
A probe has now been launched and anyone with information is urged to contact the arson hotline on 0800 555 111.