A FAMILY were forced to flee their terraced home after a fire at a convenience store in Blackburn.

A number of wooden pallets were set alight outside Adil Food Store, in Hope Street, on Friday morning.

Two fire crews attended the scene at around 2am and spent half-an-hour putting out the flames.

Owner Mohammed Islam said it was the first time the shop had been targeted in the 30 years he has worked there.

He said: “It was probably just some kids but it’s not nice. We are lucky nobody was hurt.”

Adil Islam, 18, who works at the shop, said: “There were about seven or eight of us awake drinking tea and we could hear this crackling.

“It’s pretty lucky we were awake. We got out straight away and thankfully there’s no real damage to the shop.

“We’ve been really busy recently preparing for a wedding. Normally we collect all the pallets in but this time we left some outside.”

Darren Ferneyhough, crew manager at Blackburn fire station, said investigators believed the fire may have been started deliberately.

He said: “The pallets appear to have caught fire at the side of the shop, which is an end terrace, causing minor smoke damage to the building.

”We’re looking at the possibility it could be suspicious and we have got CCTV. I would ask business owners not to leave combustible materials like wood and rubbish outside their premises.”

Lancashire police said they had yet to be made aware of the incident.