Potential tragedy was averted last night thanks to an eagle- eyed passerby who spotted smoke coming from a block of flats.

They called 999 to alert the first service to the incident unfolding in Truro just after 10.30pm.

Three crews from Truro and Tolvaddon were sent to Station Road, with the officer in charge immediately calling for backup from a fourth engine.

This also came from Tolvaddon, and prompted further specialist vehicles from Falmouth and St Just to join them.

A fire service spokesperson said: "The block of flats was evacuated and all persons were quickly accounted for.

"The crew used two breathing apparatus, one extended hosereel jet, one safety jet and one triple extension ladder; the fire has now been extinguished."

Police and the ambulance service also attended.