A MOTHER and two of her three children had a lucky escape from a freak blaze at their home after they were alerted by a downstairs smoke alarm.
Natalie Cooper, of Elizabeth Street, Accrington, was at home last Wednesday afternoon with the kids when two scented candles on the fireplace set light to a plasma screen TV mounted on the wall.
Miss Cooper, who was upstairs changing her toddler, was alerted to the blaze by the sound of a fire alarm and managed to evacuate the house and take refuge at her neighbour’s home.
Hyndburn fire crews who attended the scene said that without the smoke alarm the young family may not have survived the severity of the fire.
Crew manager Glen Barr-att, said: "This incident just demonstrates how crucial smoke alarms are.
"The lady had put ordinary scented candles on the mantle-piece and gone upstairs.
"If she had not had any alarms her story would have been very different.
"The ferocity of the fire could easily have blocked her exit. They were very lucky."
Miss Cooper and her family, including another child who was at school, have been in the house for 18 months.
They are now having to stay in a hotel while repairs are carried out to their home.
Neighbour and close friend June Clarke said: "We were really shocked when we saw what was happening.
"Natalie ran straight over here and asked us to watch her children while she called for help.
"My partner and a neighbour ran round the back to make sure everyone in the houses next to the fire also got out in case it spread.
"This really isn’t something you expect.
"It just shows how important smoke alarms are and how fires can happen anywhere."
Hyndburn fire officers are now urging all residents to check their smoke alarms and for people wanting advice to contact them on 235211.