An explosion which forced residents to be evacuated and caused severe damage to a sweet shop could have been started deliberately, according to fire chiefs.
Hyndburn firefighters and police were called to Sweet Memories on High Street in Rishton at around 7pm on Sunday, September 18 after neighbours reported a loud bang.
Alex Fletcher, watch manager at Hyndburn fire station, said the fire started in the back yard of the property, which also houses PH Sealants, before spreading into the building through a window.
It is believed rubbish skips containing aerosol cans in the rear yard could have been torched deliberately and caused the explosion.
Residents in adjacent flats had to be evacuated and were given shelter in The Balti House restaurant.
WM Fletcher said: “It looks like it started in the rear yard and then spread to the back of the ship via the rear window.
“It caused extensive damage to the inside on the ground floor and we were three for about three and a half hours to make sure it was all out.
“It’s possible that the fire outside was set deliberately. There were aerosol cans in some rubbish skips at the back of the property.”
Two fire crews from Hyndburn used breathing apparatus and hose reels to tackle the fire.
Lancashire Police said they were called to the scene at 7.25pm and helped contain traffic and gathering crowds.
Anyone with information call police on 101 quoting log number 1340 of September 18.