A fire broke out today (April 3) on the first floor of the Mary Street building – within the Nicholas Evans print workshop.
A fire spokesman said: “Initial findings suggest the fire is thought to have been started in one of the printing machines in the workshop.
“The owner dialed 999, got out and everyone else was evacuated.”
The fire has ripped through the John Angus print workshop.
Amy’s Tea Shop, the Christian Book Shop and 848 848 Taxis (below the printing shop), have suffered water damage from the crew’s attempts to stop the blaze.
Eight fire engines, an aerial ladder platform and crews from Morecambe and Command Support Unit from Blackburn attended the scene at around 12.40pm.
No-one was injured but there is significant fire damage to the roof and first floor of the terraced block of shops.
The fire is currently being damped down.
Police arrived at the scene at around 1pm on Monday (April 3) to assist Lancashire Fire and Rescue and close off Mary Street and Great John Street to the public.
Crowds were told to stand back as the flames spread up into the air.
A passerby said: “I am amazed by the slates, they are just buckling, I thought they would be secure.
“It is ironic because I was going to go into Amy’s cafe today. I thought I will go there before my doctor’s appointment.
“I can’t believe the flames, it must be very fierce, we just don’t want an explosion.”
One person has suffered smoke inhalation and has been taken to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.
Staff from 848 848 Taxis had to be evacuated.
A staff member at 848 said: “It is devastating to see.
“There were two members of staff in there who had to be evacuated.
“I think the building will be condemned.
“It’s our labour of love, this is where the business comes, it is where are main walk-ins are, all our trade.”
A fire investigation is underway but an initial report suggests the fire was electrical in origin and involved a machine.