AN OSWALDTWISTLE family are facing a bleak Christmas after their home was gutted by fire.
Debra O'Connor and her three children had to flee the house in New Lane when a blaze broke out in a cupboard under the stairs on Saturday afternoon.
Debra, 41, an English student at Blackburn College, said she was in the bathroom when she heard a loud bang and her sons Dale, 16, and Shaun, 15, starting shouting that the house was on fire.
She grabbed her seven-year-old daughter Melissa and her friend, who were playing upstairs, and they ran out of the house.
Debra said: "The lights in the bathroom flickered and a few seconds later there was a big bang and the lads, who were downstairs watching TV, came running up saying under the stairs was on fire.
"I grabbed the girls and we all ran out of the house with smoke and flames following us through the door.
"I flew across the road to phone the Fire Brigade.
"By the time I had rung the smoke was billowing out through the front door.
"We have been told it was caused by an electrical fault.
"The kitchen, living room, bathroom, my bedroom and Melissa's bedroom have been totally destroyed. They are completely wrecked.
"I do my washing at the weekend and there were piles of clothes in laundry baskets in the bathroom, so they have also gone.
"Melissa has lost all her toys and everything in her bedroom and I have lost all of my college work.
"But I am just thankful that we are all OK. It could have been a lot worse."
The family are now staying with a friend over the road as their home is not expected to be back to normal for at least three months.
Debra said she has managed to find somebody to look after their pet cat Charlie while the house is being repaired, but she is struggling to find a home for their dog Axel.
Kind-hearted members of Church and Oswaldtwistle Rotary Club have stepped in to help out, offering to help find a home for the dog and securing a new washing machine for the family.
They are also hoping to be able to help them out again over the next few months.
The family dog Axel is 13 years old and is not really suitable for a family with small children.
Anyone who can offer him a home should contact Rotary Club member Lennie Herbert on 07971 593877.