A fire ravaged two houses in a Sussex village yesterday.

Residents heard explosions as the blaze took hold of the properties in Shoreham Road, Small Dole near Henfield yesterday.

Fire crews were called at just before noon after being informed a small leanto between the two house was alight.

But the fire quickly spread to the two adjoining properties.

Four engines were dispatched to the scene from Shoreham, Steyning, Worthing and Haywards Heath.

Thankfully by the time the crews arrived the owner of the house had escaped and already called the brigade.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus fought the fire for several hours before finally putting it out.

Like a car accident

Local resident Karen Trace said neighbours heard an “enormous bang”

and then a plume of smoke drift across the road.

She added: “One man heard one explosion and then another.

“A lot of people thought it was a car accident.

“By the time I got there it was quite horrible.

“You could clearly see flames coming through the roof as the firefighters pumped water on it.

“There was a lot of acrid smoke drifting across the road.

“The roof was gone within half an hour.

“I am just glad no-one was injured.”

West Sussex Fire and Rescue confirmed one of the houses suffered 100% damage to the roof and first floor from fire and water with 70% of the ground floor also damaged by water.

The second house had 30% damage to the ground floor as well as smoke damage to the first floor and roof.

The Argus:

Fire Investigation Officers arrived on the scene and are now looking at what caused the fire, but the fire service were unable to confirm if explosions had taken place.