A FIRE at a garage has been blamed on an electrical fault.

Firefighters rushed to the Fast Fit Autocentre in Croxdale, near Durham City, at about 8pm on Wednesday night.

There were volatile acetylene gas cylinders inside and initially people living within 200m of the garage were warned they may have to evacuate.

Eventually, they were allowed to remain but advised to stay indoors.

Firefighters remained on scene overnight cooling down the cylinders and the A167, which runs past the garage, was closed for several hours, with diversions in place.

Today, a spokesman for Durham fire brigade said investigators had traced the cause of the blaze to an electrical problem in a car at the garage.