A mum has thanked her three-year-old daughter for saving her life and the lives of her sister and neighbour.
Claire Clitheroe said if her daughter Alexis hadn’t have acted the way she did she and two others could have perished.
Firefighters and neighbours also paid tribute to the hero youngster for waking up her mum in the middle of the night when their home became engulfed in smoke.
Alexis, who usually sleeps through the night, woke up shortly after midnight on Tuesday as thick black toxic smoke filled the family home on Sparth Avenue.
The tot ran into her mum’s bedroom shouting ‘mummy’.
Claire, who had just finished decorating the semi-detached Clayton-le-Moors house after moving in two weeks ago, said: “When Lexi came into my bedroom shouting I was half asleep.
“But then I noticed a load of smoke coming upstairs, so I grabbed her, wrapped my dressing gown around her head and body and ran downstairs.
“I could hardly see my hand in front of me and the smell of burning plastic was so horrible it made me feel dizzy and sick.
“Lexi’s a very brave little girl. It’s strange how she sensed it. She definitely saved three lives by doing what she did.
“She is traumatised at the moment and can’t sleep. We are now looking for a new place to live.”
Claire, who had moved out of her previous house in Padiham after the roof collapsed, moved into Sparth Avenue two weeks ago after a spell living nearby with her dad.
Claire’s sister Lauren, 21, was also in the house and ran out onto the street with the pair.
On getting outside Claire realised the family’s two seven-week old kittens Pepper and George were still inside.
Claire ran back in and found them behind a freezer.
The fire was caused by wiring underneath the floorboards in the hallway downstairs which caused the smoke to smoulder and break.
Firefighters were able to deal with the problem before a fire broke out.
Smoke also entered the home of Patricia Sleddon’s house next door, a grandmother-of-two who was asleep.
Patricia, 45, said: “I’m a very heavy sleeper - so she saved my life as well by alerting her mum.
“Luckily a friend from across the street banged on my door shouting fire so I grabbed my things and got out with my Chihuahua Wallace and my parrot.”
A Lancashire Fire and Rescue spokesman said: “If the child hadn’t have woken up there was a danger the fire could have escalated.
“It had started to char but hadn’t turned to flame. The property was heavily smoke logged when we arrived.”
No one was injured during the incident on Tuesday, July 19.