A WHEELIE bin fire damaged two houses and caused a gas leak.

Firefighters were called to the fire, which started accidentally, in Macclesfield Road, Holmes Chapel just after 11am on Sunday, December 30.

A cordon was set up and homes were evacuated because of the gas leak, and the road was closed as the emergency services and utility engineers worked at the scene.

A Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “On arrival the crew discovered the fire had damaged the outside of two two-storey houses and caused a gas leak.

“The fire had damaged an external fuse box and cabling as well as a gas pipe.

“Firefighters extinguished the fire with a hose reel jet. They also set up a cordon and evacuated nearby properties because of the gas leak.

“The police and gas and electrical engineers were called to the scene.

"The gas and electricity supply to the affected area was isolated and properties were inspected to make sure they were safe.

“Once properties were deemed to be safe residents were allowed to go back inside them.”

Firefighters were at the scene for more than four and a half hours.