CUSTOMERS and staff were forced to flee a bookmaker's when smoke started pouring out of a television set.

Firefighters spent an hour tackling the blaze at Coral, Johnston Street, Blackburn, just before 4pm on Saturday.

Deputy manager Darren Walsh said: "There were about seven or eight customers in the shop at the time.

"One said he could smell burning, then we noticed the smoke coming out of a television.

"We tried to put it out with extinguishers but it didn't work so decided to take the money and betting slips and get out.

"Everybody was calm though we had to force one man to leave because he wanted to stay to see the end of a race he had bet on."

Sub-officer Mark Wissett of Blackburn fire station added: "When we arrived we were faced with a rapidly developing fire and smoke was bellowing out of the windows.

"We believe an electrical fault on one of the televisions is to blame.

"The roof and part of the shop is extensively damaged by fire and the rest of the building is severely smoke damaged."

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