An investigation has begun into the cause of a blaze which engulfed a tyre workshop in Northallerton.
Dozens of firefighters battled to bring the fire at Northallerton Tyre and Battery Centre in Brompton Road under control yesterday evening amid fears that gas cylinder inside could explode or the flames would spread to nearby properties.
Some 40 residents were evacuated from Priory Close to the Friarage Hospital by emergency services, North Yorkshire County Council said.
The residents were assessed by council teams to ensure they had suitable accommodation overnight if needed, although most were able to return home by 11pm.
Shoppers and staff at a nearby Asda were also moved out of the store as a precaution.
South Tees Hospitals said last night that the fire was restricting access to the Friarage Hospital, but A&E was not affected.
It said all planned operations and appointments would go ahead today (Thursday).
Patients were advised that access was available via Bullamoor Road until any diversions were lifted and they should allow extra time for travel.
North Yorkshire Fire Service said two crews from Northallerton were initially sent to reports of a fire at a commercial property just after 6.45pm.
A spokesman said: "On arriving at the scene, crews were faced with a developed fire to the whole of the building. The priority was to prevent the fire spreading to other nearby properties.
"Further assistance was immediately requested and fire engines were sent from throughout the county. In total seven fire engines from North Yorkshire and an aerial ladder platform from Durham and Darlington Fire Service were tackling the blaze.
"Due to the presence of cylinders in the building, a significant cordon had to be put in place including road closures. This was due to the risk of exploding cylinders."
The service began reducing the number of firefighters at the scene from around 10pm when the focus moved to damping down.
A cordon was expected to remain in place for some time and the public were being advised to avoid the area.
The spokesman said the cause of the fire was now under investigation.