A FAMOUS furniture business in North Yorkshire was "lucky" to avoid being badly damaged by a blaze at a neighbouring pub thanks to the "due diligence" of firefighters.

Crews from across the county were called to the fire at The Forresters Arms in Kilburn, near Thirsk, which is also a B&B, last night.

It was reported to North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service at 8.30pm.

The service said the blaze is believed to have started outside at the rear of The Forresters Arms and then spread to the pub. However, fire investigations into the cause will be taking place over the coming days.

Ian Thompson-Cartwright, from the family-run Robert Thompson's Craftsmen Ltd, which is situated next to the pub, rushed back to the business after hearing about the fire. When he arrived he saw lots of black smoke coming from the pub.

He told The Press: "It was bad. It has taken the roof out of the pub.

"It has also damaged the letting rooms.

"Fortunately because of the due diligence of the fire brigade we have still got a business operating today.

"We are just so pleased we have got a business that is still intact." He said the business, which was started by renowned furniture maker Robert Thompson, suffered smoke damage to its workshop and display room but no furniture was damaged.

Ian added: "We are lucky our workshop and premises didn't burn down.

"Because we have an adjoining wall we thought it was going to breach the wall but it didn't."

The fire service said the fire caused damage to several rooms and roof of the pub.

Station manager Andy Creasey wrote on Twitter early this morning that crews "worked tirelessly" to deal with the "major blaze".

Six fire engines were at the scene along with an incident support unit and aerial ladder platform.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said all occupants had evacuated the building before crews arrived and that no-one was injured.

The crews used hose reel jets, the aerial ladder platform, thermal imaging cameras, small tools, lighting and breathing apparatus to put out the fire.

One crew remained at the scene throughout the morning, damping down.

Crews will be revisiting today along with fire investigation officers.

Robert "Mouseman" Thompson dedicated his life to the craft of carving and joinery in English Oak. Almost every piece of his oak furniture featured a carved mouse.