A shed containing gas cylinders caught fire on New Year's Day in a village near Northampton.
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service received an emergency call to a report of a shed on fire in Little Houghton early yesterday (Tuesday).
Firefighters attended the blaze in Lodge Close at 1.47am where they were told a number of gas cylinders were inside the shed which was well alight and had spread to neighbouring gardens.
As a precautionary measure 20 nearby houses were evacuated.
Northamptonshire Police also attended the incident which saw the opening of the village hall in order to allow people to take shelter while the fire was tackled.
A spokesman for the fire service said :"An elderly man received treatment at the scene for smoke inhalation, although following an assessment by paramedics did not require any further treatment.
"Four fire appliances and a water bowser attended the incident and through swift and efficient actions of all emergency services at the scene the incident was quickly resolved."
Residents were immediately allowed to return to their homes and the fire was finally extinguished at 5am.
Assistant Commander Kelvin Hallen from Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, said; “I would like to thank the people affected by last night’s fire for their patience while we tackled the incident.
“We have to work with the information we receive when called to a fire and people’s safety is always our top priority.
“When gas cylinders heat up they can explode and can cause a huge amount of damage, which is why the decision was taken to evacuate a number of properties last night.
“I’m pleased to say that as soon as it was established that there were no cylinders in the shed people were able to return home safely.”