Heart-stopping footage caught the moment flames began engulfing back gardens and a house in North Watford this afternoon. 

Sid McFarlane looked on with horror from inside his home as a fire ripped through his garden, with the flames dangerously close to his house in Bradshaw Road.

More than sixty firefighters battled the blaze which began in a railway embankment, which runs behind Bradshaw Road, at around 2.30pm.

The fire then spread rapidly into the back gardens, burning down fences - Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue says as many as 12 properties were affected.

The fire service has told us there have been no reported casualties.

One house caught fire in Bradshaw Road - and photos posted on twitter showed a home had been destroyed.

Windows were smashed, while burnt debris can be seen all over the back garden.

Police said approximately four homes were evacuated.

Video shared on our Facebook page shows smoke pouring out of the front of a house in Bradshaw Road, with a cordon in place.

Firefighters can be heard telling people to 'keep back' while police officers directed residents back into their homes.

Watford Observer:

Watford Observer:

The fire completely engulfed back gardens

As the flames engulfed the back gardens, sirens could be heard in the background, with several fire engines attending the scene alongside incident response units and paramedics.

Black smoke billowed into the air which could be seen across Watford.

The emergency services cordoned off Bradshaw Road and told people to stay away from the area.

Watford Observer:

The fire started in bushes near the Abbey Line railway line. No trains were running at the time

Watford Observer:

Watford Observer:

It then spread to people's back gardens

The fire service tweeted earlier this afternoon: “We are currently in attendance at a large fire on Bradshaw Road, Watford - please AVOID the area as we have several appliances in attendance with more on the way and will need immediate access to the surrounding area.”

St Albans Road was also blocked off by the emergency services.

Watford Observer:

Watford Observer:

Fire engines in St Albans Road

Watford Observer:

Watford Observer:

Fire crews taped off Bradshaw Road this afternoon

The fire is now under control.

Local councillor Asif Khan, who lives in nearby Brixton Road, has been down at the scene today.

He said: “I could smell the fire from my house. I looked around and there was this dark thick grey smoke that went through our road.

“It was a sign that it was more than just a bonfire.

“Residents were saying a house caught fire but that people were safe. That the back gardens had caught fire. I saw some families without shoes on."

Watford Observer:

Watford Observer:

Smoke could be seen pouring out over St Albans Road

Cllr Khan continued: “The fire spread quickly all of a sudden.

“I’ve seen the house affected and the windows were charred out. It was gutted.

“I just hope the insurance companies resolve for all those affected. Residents showed a lot of patience and bravery. People were offering drinks. The community was there to support one another.

“I’d like to commend the firefighters and police for their professionalism.”

Another witness to the fire said: "It was very busy and hectic, people were crying.

"It looked like the fire was spreading from the garden into the houses."

Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue tweeted the incident is now under control, with the fire having been “scaled down”.

The fire service also confirmed that there were no reported casualities following the fire - and that its cause is unknown at this stage.

An investigation is set to be carried out.