A man aged 35 has been arrested in connection with a serious house fire in the Ingol area of Preston last night.
Four fire engines were called to tackle the raging inferno at a terraced house on Westbrook Crescent, after being called out just before 9.15pm.
Firefighters were faced with the challenge of trying to mount a potential rescue after a frantic neighbour feared there was someone trapped inside the property.
The crews had to wait 20 minutes until the blaze was sufficiently under control before entering the house to see if anyone was inside.
Once in the property they found that the intensity of the ground floor fire had destroyed the staircase and it was impossible to use it to gain entry upstairs.
Firefighters had to use a ladder to check upstairs rooms.
However, they were able to establish that no one was in the property.
Watch manager Mark Woodward confirmed the police had been involved and said: “A joint investigation is now under way by Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and the Police.
“This was a very serious fire but the most important thing is that on one was hurt.”
The fire took some three hours to bring under control but given the fierce nature of the blaze, firefighters were still today keeping checks on the property using thermal imaging cameras to ensure the blaze was fully out.
Firefighters also took steps to stop the fire spreading to the properties nextdoor.
Lancashire Police confirmed a joint investigation was underway and revealed the arrest of a 35 year old man on suspicion of arson.
The man was being interviewed about the incident today.