FOUR residents at a York nursing home were moved out of their bedrooms in the middle of the night to prevent them being affected by smoke after fire broke out.

Firefighters tackled the blaze in a laundry room at Birchlands Nursing Care Home in Moor Lane, Haxby, at just before 1am this morning.

North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service said crews from York and Huntington wore breathing apparatus as they used two hoses, a thermal imaging camera and a 'door enforcer' as they dealt with it.

A spokesman said the fire was confined to the ground floor laundry room, which was severely damaged, but there was also extensive smoke damage over two storeys of the building.

He added that a senior officer was returning to the building today to investigate the cause of the fire.

Lucy Holl, chief operations officer for the home, said that when the 'small' fire was discovered, the prompt responses of staff ensured it was contained and they moved four residents whose rooms would have been affected by smoke and also minimised any disruption to the other 50 residents.

“Fire services responded quickly, the fire was dealt with effectively, and they worked with Birchlands staff to secure the laundry room," she said.

“We will be working with the Fire Brigade to investigate the cause of the fire and ensure any recommendations are implemented.”

A spokesman said the home was a three storey building served by a passenger lift.

"It has 54 registered beds, and care provision that is specialised in adults over 65 years," he said. "We can accommodate residents requiring nursing care, disease treatments, and disorders or injuries, as well as general residential care."

He said a fire in any nursing care home called for well-established emergency responses to be operated effectively to ensure any risk and disruption for residents was minimised, and the Birchlands fire could be used as a model for such responses.