A BLAZE broke out at a fish and chip van in Burghead while hungry customers waited to queue for their food.
Witnesses described how the Fish n' Chips 2 Go van burst into flames only seconds after gas cylinders were removed from the scene.
Both women working in the van at the time escaped unhurt while villagers re-directed traffic away from the blaze.
Three fire appliances attended the fire just before 5.30pm on Friday, and were still working on extinguishing it 40 minutes later.
One witness described the blaze as “horrific”, and said the van was totally engulfed in flames while plumes of black smoke were blown across the village in the strong wind.
Mark Brown, who took pictures at the scene, said: “I stopped my car and saw someone running away with the gas bottle, which was beside the van.
“The next thing I saw a wee drop of smoke coming out and within seconds, up she went.
“If the cylinders had still been in there I wouldn't like to think what would've happened.”
A Police Scotland spokesperson confirmed the cylinders were removed from the scene before the blaze ignited, and there was extensive damage to the van and traffic management employed.
At this stage, Fire Scotland were unable to confirm how the fire started.