A HOUSE in Padiham was left badly damaged in an arson attack.

Fire crews from Padiham, Burnley and Accrington stations were called to Ingham Street after receiving reports of a house fire, with people trapped inside.

The blaze, which police believe was started deliberately, engulfed the terrace house, and the flames reached as far as the roof of the property.

However fire officers said when they arrived no-one was trapped inside.

A neighbour who witnessed the fire said: “The flames went right up over the house, they were coming out into the road.

“Everyone had to move their vans and cars, there were loads of police and fire engines, the road was blocked off all around.”

The inside of the house was left empty and blackened after the fire tore through the property.

Smoke spread to the neighbouring house, causing damage, and both properties were boarded up by Saturday morning following the fire the previous night.

One neighbour said: “Next door got smoke damaged. The children have got asthma. They’ve had to move out and go and stay in a hotel.”

Neighbours said a man lived in the house with his pet cat, which has not been seen since the fire broke out.

A fire service spokesman said: “At the moment the fire is being treated as suspicious. There is an ongoing investigation between police and the fire service.”

Nobody was injured in the blaze, which took around two hours to extinguish.

Police said that a man had been arrested on suspicion of arson.