A Cornwall Councillor said that the community of Merrifield Close had been "fantastic" in their response to a fire that damaged five sheltered homes last night.  Andrew Mitchell, cabinet member for homes at Cornwall Council, said: "The immediate local community have been fantastic, they've helped one another, that's what we all believe community here in Cornwall is, and it was certainly demonstrated in the early hours of this morning here."  The investigation into the fire was already well underway when councillors held a press conference this afternoon, with officers from Cornwall Fire and Rescue having been at the scene all morning.

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Station Manager Dave Pilling said: "It was a significant fire, it's not something we deal with every day. When the crews arrived in the early hours they were confronted with a developed fire.

"I'd just like to praise the crews for their quick action as well because they did definitely stop the escalation of the incident by their prompt actions, and also the residents who supported the fire crews and evacuated the remaining properties once the fire was discovered."

The fire started just after midnight and spread across the roofs, damaging five properties.  Luckily, none of the residents were injured, but they have had to be evacuated and re-housed by Cornwall Council.    Councillor Mitchell said: "Because of the actions  of the local community and council staff in various departments, we're here talking about fire damage to five properties rather than a death, and I think that's the main point.

"We need to know why it spread from building to building, is there anything else that we can do through Cornwall Housing to make sure that events like this are extremely rare, I would like to have said impossible to happen, but fire always finds a way unfortunately.

"I guarantee that through Cornwall Housing, their staff are dedicated, they want to look after the residents and make sure the right thing is done."

A joint investigation by police and fire forces is being carried out at the moment, with a possible conclusion by the end of the day.  Mr Pilling also said: "It's early days whether we can actually determine an exact cause today and it is very early to speculate on any potential cause from the evidence we've gained so far."

Two appliances from Truro were immediately mobilised last night at around midnight. Once in attendance, Truro requested more pumps.

Two additional appliances were mobilised, along side the command vehicle from St Just and the OSV from Falmouth.

Just after 3am the fire was put out and everybody accounted for, with crews damping down.

Police have not yet confirmed whether the fire is being investigated for arson.

Footage to follow.