A discarded cigarette sparked a fire that forced a Preston pub to close for an hour on a busy Friday night.
Customers were evacuated from The Twelve Tellers, on Church Street, following the incident at around 10.15pm last night.
Fire investigators have since ruled the blaze was accidental.
Acting watch manager Graham Nelson, at Preston fire station, said: “It was an old basement vent that vents out into the street – someone had discarded a cigarette into it.
“They ended up having to evacuate the pub. It was closed for the best part of an hour while we ventilated it.
“The staff did a very good job evacuating the pub.”
Customers who were forced to leave the Wetherspoons pub reported seeing three fire engines and two police vehicles outside the pub last night.
Nobody was hurt during the incident.
Acting watch manager Nelson added: “Our fire safety enforcement team will look into it to see if we can prevent this happening again.
“They are open drains into the pub and unless something is done it could happen again.
The staff did a very good job evacuating the pub.Acting watch manager Graham Nelson
“As far as fire investigation goes, it was deemed accidental.”