A fire which was started by accident could have led to tragedy as it caused a gas pipe to burst in Dysart.
Five engines from Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (East) rushed to tackle the blaze which started in a wheelie bin on Alexander Street just before noon. It is believed a discarded cigarette was to blame for the fire which then quickly spread.
From the bin, the fire spread to fencing at the front of the building before setting parked cars alight. A Vauxhall Corsa and Honda Jazz were both written off whilst a Renault Megane was badly damaged.
More seriously the heat from the blaze was so fierce it ruptured a pipe causing gas to leak out.
No-one was hurt in the fire and whilst there was some external damage, none of the buildings in the street and neighbouring Berwick Place were set alight.
Police officers attended the scene and the area was blocked off whilst fire crews tackled the blaze. Occupants of the buildings were evacuated into nearby Dysart Primary School.
A Scotland Gas Networks spokesman said: “We were called out by the fire service and attended the scene quickly to make the situation safe.
“The heat of the fire had damaged a service pipe which was attended to.
“Our engineers stayed on site all night to make sure there were no further leaks.”
The spokesman added that all repairs to the pipe were made on Monday morning and that the area is now safe.
Police confirmed the fire was started by accident, with a spokesman saying: “Thankfully nobody was injured in the fire and there does not appear to have been any criminality involved.”