A NUMBER houses had to be evacuated after a fire in Pickering last night.

Emergency services were called to Southgate at 9.54pm last night after a fire involving a caravan spread to a number of lean to outbuildings containing a car and cylinders.

Police officers put a cordon in place, which included closing the A170, to keep the public safe and allow the emergency services to work at the scene.

A small number of properties, in the immediate vicinity of the fire, had to be evacuated. The fire was brought under control, and the road was re-opened and families returned home by 2am.

A resident of Southgate said: "It was scary how quickly the fire took hold, the sky was practically alight.

"Luckily the fire was brought under control and we could safely return to our homes."

Fire crews from Pickering, Kirkbymoorside and Malton attended the incident.

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Fire Service said: "Crews extinguished the fire using 4 breathing apparatus, 4 hose reel jets, 4 main jets, triple extension ladders, thermal imaging cameras and a ground monitor.

"The cause of the fire is still being investigated by fire investigation officers."