HOUSES were evacuated last night after a 'deliberate' fire at an outbuilding on a Darwen street.

Two crews from Darwen were sent to the scene on Cross Barn Walk at 2.29am.

A Lancashire Fire Service spokesman said: "Ventilation units were used to clear the smoke but it seems like the fire was already out when we got there.

"There were no casualties or people rescued from the scene.

"The fire had started in an outbuilding and threatened to go to a derelict house.

"People were evacuated from the neighbouring properties due to smoke inhalation.

"They were there for half an hour."