A blaze which destroyed a car wash at Horsey Way Service Station in Whittlesey Road, Stanground was started accidentally.
At 3.50am on Saturday (12 October) one fire engine attended the incident which completely destroyed the car wash.
The cause of the fire has been put down as accidental and residents reported that days before the blaze the car wash doors were not working properly - however staff at the venue refused to comment.
It is believed that quick-thinking staff at the garage, which is open around-the-clock, called for the fire service who were able to get the blaze under control.
Several residents in the nearby area were woken by the fire and were getting ready to evacuate their homes before fire crews arrived.
Chris Goodwin (58), whose home in Coneygree Road backs on to the garage forecourt, said: “It was scary stuff.
“I was woken up just before 4am by a loud banging noise, which sounded like tyres exploding and I could also hear crashing glass.
“I drew my bedroom curtains and all I could see was plumes of thick black smoke coming from the car wash roof. I then went and knocked on my neighbours’ doors and was getting ready to evacuate at that point.
“The smoke was really thick and it covered Whittlesey Road. You couldn’t see from one side to the other.
“Fortunately the fire crews got here quickly and managed to get it under control.
“The lucky thing is last week the council chopped down a load of trees behind my home, if they had still been here they would have gone up and it could have spread.
“I had noticed that a few days before the fire the car wash doors were not functioning properly and were making extra noise, maybe that was something to do with it.”
Tara Magnus, of nearby Allan Avenue, added: “The fire woke us up, at its height there was a lot of smoke and a blaze at a petrol station is worrying for obvious reasons.”
Michael Carter, also of Allan Avenue, added: “You could smell the smoke coming through your windows, it was pretty heavy.”
A spokesperson for Cambridgeshire Fire Service said: “Four firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used two jets and two hose reels to extinguish the fire.“