THE emergency services have been praised for their response after fire took hold of house in Hereford, with nearby homes evacuated as a precaution.

Fire crews were called to Oban Way, Belmont at around 4pm on Sunday which has since been classed as accidental.

Five crews from Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) tackled the blaze at its height, with an upstairs window blown out.

Alison Wilson, who lives in Oban Way, said at first she thought the noise from the fire was a gate slamming, but was then shocked to see the flames.

“I looked out and the flames were leaping out the back of the house and the window had just blown out,” she said.

“We made sure the people were out of the house.

“Then myself, my partner and someone from Rothesay Mead went and banged on all of the houses we could to get their attention to get them out of the house and tell them what was going on.

“It was such a shock.”

A man and a woman were treated for smoke inhalation at the scene by paramedics from West Midlands Ambulance Service.

A spokesperson added the man was taken to Hereford County Hospital for further treatment.

Miss Wilson added the emergency services were at the scene in minutes and Waterfield Road was closed to allow for easier access.

“They were here in minutes. You couldn’t ask for any more.

“They made sure no one was by the house and all the houses were empty.”

All areas were checked with a thermal imaging camera before crews left the scene by 11pm.