A MAJOR investigation is under way after a house and camper van were destroyed during an early morning blaze.

Emergency services were called to the scene of the blaze in Inverkip, near Greenock, around 12.45am today.

Residents in Findhorn Road described how the fire took hold at a couple's home and said flames were seen leaping through the roof.

It's thought gas canisters in the camper van exploded as neighbours reported hearing loud bangs.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: "We were called to Findhorn Road, in Inverkip around 12.30am today.

"A house was destroyed after a serious fire. There was no reports of any injuries. Inquiries are continuing."

Today the area was cordoned off while investigations got under way.

The fire comes just weeks after a separate incident in which police were called to an address in the street following a report of vandalism on March 29.

It is understood a window of a taxi, which belonged to the owner of the blaze-hit home, was smashed.

Police said investigations were continuing into the earlier vandalism incident.

Today the fire-struck house was a burnt out shell with the camper van reduced to charred debris.

No one was injured during the incident and it's understood the homeowners are now staying with relatives.

They managed to flee from the house and were seen standing in their night clothes while emergency services tackled the blaze.

Several other residents were also evacuated, but were allowed to return to their homes a short time later.

Kathleen Marshall, 68, who lives close by, described seeing flames shooting into the night sky.

She said: "I have never seen anything like it. I looked out and saw the neighbours' camper van was on fire.

"In minutes the fire spread to the house and the whole front went out. Flames were leaping through the roof.

"There was a lot of sparks and you could hear things popping.

"The fire service asked us to leave our homes and we didn't return until about 2.30am.

"We were worried about the couple as we hadn't seen them, but we were told they were safe."

deborah.anderson@ eveningtimes.co.uk