Children and staff from a nursery had to be evacuated to a nearby care home after fire broke out in a neighbouring carpentry business.
Around 25 firefighters were sent to tackle the blaze at the premises in Harborough Road in Rushden, Northamptonshire, after receiving the call at 11.50am.
When they first arrived, the fire was contained to the roof, but more crews were called after the fire spread to the upper floors of the building.
Watch commander Ben Stone said crews had to act quickly.
"There was quite a high fire load in there, quite a lot of wood, so we were lucky to get our aerial ladder appliance on the roof quite quickly, to get a lot of water, to stop it spreading to all the other properties nearby," he said.
Nearby roads, including Harborough Road – along with the Park Road junction - were closed to traffic.
Properties adjoining the business were also evacuated, including children and staff from a nursery.
Members of the public were asked to keep their doors and windows shut and to avoid the area.
It is not yet known how the fire started.
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