HOMES were evacuated after a pan was left over heat in a block of flats.

Smoke filled the apartment building, in Rishton’s High Street, after the kitchen fire in one residence, just before 1am on Tuesday.

Crews from Hyndburn Fire Station evacuated several homes, and broke into the property to extinguish the blaze. Firefighters said leaving a pan unattended could have easily cost lives in nearby flats.

Watch manager Liam Barker said: “Never leave a pan unattended. When we received the call, it was reported that people were inside.

“We had to evacuate several flats, with people having to flee their homes while we located the problem. We found a pan left unattended on a hob.

“This could have easily been much worse, especially if the fire had taken hold, and others had been asleep.”