TWO hero neighbours have told of their dramatic rescue of a woman and her baby girl after a chip pan fire at their Church home.
Brave Dean Lynch, who pulled the woman from the smoke-filled house with no thought for his own safety after she went back in, and Martin Noke, who grabbed the baby from her arms before she returned, may have saved the pair from death.
The drama unfolded just after 10pm last Wednesday, when Martin, 19, was walking back to his York Street home after visiting his family.
As he approached his house he saw thick black smoke billowing from a neighbour's home and the woman and child standing outside.
He said: "The woman was going to go back inside. I told her she couldn't take the baby back in there and just took her from her "
As a crowd gathered around the burning house, the woman did go back in, only to be rescued by Dean, who had been walking back from the shop.
He had first run to his own house and told his pregnant partner Ella to ring the Fire Brigade.
When he came back outside he saw Martin grab the baby and the woman go back inside the house through the thick black smoke.
Two minutes later he ran in after the woman, who was in the back room of the house, next to the kitchen where the fire was, putting his own life on the line.
He said: "I could not see anything at all, I just grabbed her and pulled her out."
Dean was given oxygen in the back of an ambulance before being allowed to go back to Ella and his five-year-old son Tony, who had been frightened for his daddy.
Dean said: "I just did it, I didn't think about it at all.
"I don't feel like a hero but every time I go to the shop now I get called Hero Dean or Fireman Sam."
Dean may not feel like a hero but he certainly is one to Ella and little Tony.
Ella said: "I was proud of him. He has done things before that I would have run away from.
"His mum and brother rescued someone from a chip pan fire 10 years ago so it must be in his genes.
"But I was frightened that he would not come out alive."
The woman and her baby were taken to Blackburn Royal Hospital and treated for smoke inhalation. There was particular concern for the baby because of its small lungs.
It is unclear why the woman went back in the house but firefighters from Accrington and Great Harwood carried out a full search with breathing apparatus and found there was no-one else present.
Watch manager Phil Whittaker, from Accrington Fire Station, said: "It was a rented property without smoke alarms so we fitted some, which is a free service we provide."
The woman involved in the incident could not be traced for comment.