FLAMES poured out of a van after it caught fire in a busy town centre street.

Residents looked on in shock after the fruit and vegetable delivery van burst into flames in Railway Road, Darwen.

Large flames could be seen coming out of the roof of the van just behind the driver’s cab.

Police were forced to close a section of the road, close to Darwen Market and the Old Chapel JD Wetherspoon’s pub, while firefighters battled the blaze.

The cause of the fire, which appeared to start on the inside of the van as it made its way along the street, has not yet been determined.

A police spokesman said: “We closed the road at Church Street and we were keeping people back from the scene.

“The fire service was on the scene within minutes and nobody was injured.”

The incident happened shortly after 9am and the road was reopened two hours later.

Sudell councillor Roy Davies said: “The street was cordoned off and there were two fire engines and police there.

“I don’t think anyone was hurt and there were no ambulances.

“It looks like it has come from the inside as that side of the van was burnt out.”

One onlooker said: “It was frightening.

“I was a bit worried about my car as well which was parked outside the office.”

Within minutes, photographs and comments from stunned onlookers had been uploaded to social networking site Facebook.

Nicola Reay said: “Massive van fire outside the Old Chapel in Darwen. Hope the driver is okay.”

Scott McKenna echoed those sentiments and said: “Hope the driver got out safe and sound.”