A young woman and her child were rescued from a fire at a block of flats in Preston this afternoon.
Firefighters believe the blaze, which was in the ground floor of Medway House in Samuel Street, was started deliberately.
Six firefighters wearing breathing masks battled the fire in the five-floor block using two hose reels while two families were trapped upstairs.
Watch manager at Preston fire station Mark Woodward said: “As we were on route our control operators were actually speaking to the people who were trapped inside due to the smoke.
“They were passing the information on to us about where the people were.
“When we arrived we found smoke coming from the main entrance.
“Firefighters were committed to search the building.
“The fire was on the ground floor in the hallway.
“We extinguished the fire and used a ventilator to clear the smoke.
“An item had been deliberately lit which caused the fire and the severe smoke.
“Fortunately no one was seriously injured.”
The mother and child were rescued from their flat and checked over for smoke inhalation by paramedics.
Two other families were also led to safety.
Fire crews were scrambled from Preston, Penwortham Fulwood and Bamber Bridge to the fire which took place at 1.40pm.
Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service has launched an investigation into the cause of the fire and eye witnesses can call police on 101 with incident number 1702003517