More than 400 people were evacuated from Accrington Arndale Centre this morning following a fire.
Staff and shoppers, many who were elderly, escaped from the retail centre when smoke was spotted in the Vodafone shop.
Firefighters said no one was hurt and everyone had got out by the time they arrived at 10.45am.
People were kept outside for around 45 minutes while crews from Hyndburn extinguished the flames.
The fire started because of an electrical fault in the mobile phone shop's main consumer unit.
Shopping centre manager Zain Kiyani said he hadn't witnessed scenes like it in 12 years.
He said: “It was a bit of a shock. I have been here 12 years and we've never had to evacuate from the centre. Everyone was rushing out. They knew it was a real fire and we would like to thank centre staff and the public for co-operating with us so well.”
He added: “I hope it never happens again but you never know with these things.”
There are around 300 staff members who work in the various retail outfits based in Accrington Arndale. It is thought there were around 100 shoppers inside when the evacuation alarm was sounded.
The Vodafone store is currently closed while repairs are carried out.
Watch manager Keith Cunliffe, of Hyndburn Fire Station, said: “It was a very small fire. We put it out very quickly using an extinguisher. There was damage to the wiring in the consumer unit but nothing else.”
Shoppers evacuated from Accrington Arndale centre following a fire
More than 400 people were evacuated from Accrington Arndale Centre this morning following a fire. Staff and shoppers, many who were elderly, escaped from the retail centre when smoke was spotted in the Vodafone shop.