A GIRL'S plans to celebrate her 16th birthday were left in tatters after her family home was severely damaged by fire.
Emma Sharman had to cancel plans to hold a party after fire broke out as the family slept at their home in Queensway, Church, at 6.30am on Saturday.
Mum Wendy had just minutes to rescue four of her eight children when the bathroom went up in flames.
She said: "I'm still in shock. I'm just glad all the family are OK. It all happened in minutes but it felt like a lifetime before the Fire Brigade arrived."
The alarm was raised when the family dog Kira licked the face of 12-year-old Chaz who dashed downstairs to wake his mother.
Smoke had filled the upstairs bedrooms, leaving 17-year-old Amy and twins Connor and Callum, 11, asleep in their beds.
Wendy ran upstairs to evacuate the family who were treated by paramedics at the scene. Chaz was taken to Blackburn Royal Infirmary for a check-up but then released.
Wendy said: "Connor was frozen in his bed when he saw the smoke and he was crying.
"The smoke has damaged everything we had upstairs and the bathroom is completely wrecked.
"Emma was looking forward to having a few mates over for her birthday on Tuesday but now she can't even do that."
Emma, along with Andrew, 14, and younger brothers Tyler, six, and Kai, four, had been staying elsewhere on the night of the fire.
The family have all been forced to seek refuge with other family members and friends until the bathroom and the smoke damage is repaired.
Wendy added: "We are trying to carry on as normal. We are going out for a meal with Emma and she will enjoy her birthday with her friends despite what's happened."