TWO families had a lucky escape after a rubbish fire melted doors and windows at the back of their homes.

Firefighters from Blackburn and Hyndburn Fire Stations were called to Bentley Street, in Blackburn, at 12.20am yesterday after a neighbour raised the alarm.

Watch manager Chris Fogarty said: “It was an intense fire because of the wind blowing through the alleyway acting as a fan oven.

“The fire involved refuse that had been stored in the communal alleyway in between the two properties. The exact cause is not known, but we are investigating.

“Both families were lucky.

“It was an intense fire that broke through the rear of the property and into the roof soffits, and melted the UPVC doors.

“The fire was just about to enter the property. One of the neighbours was alerted to the door cracking with the heat, and alerted the owner of the property.”

Firefighters were at the scene for around two-and-a-half hours extinguishing the fire, and ensuring the blaze had not spread.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.