A SMOKER has admitted he and his family are lucky to be alive after fire broke out in an upstairs bedroom as his grandson slept in the next room.
Ken Burton, 74, of Lion Street, Church, had stayed up until the early hours of Sunday morning watching late-night boxing with grandson Paul, 16, who was staying overnight.
In the morning Mr Burton and wife Carol were preparing breakfast when a smoke alarm fitted just months earlier, went off.
They believe a cigarette which had been thrown away earlier, ignited a waste paper bin.
The fire spread to a wardrobe, severely damaging the bedroom, clothes and Christmas decorations, and heavily smoke-logging the top floor of the terraced house, where they have lived for 20 years.
All three escaped unhurt after Carol woke Paul who was still in his upstairs room.
Carol said: "I’m always very careful being a smoker.
"I think he must have been tired from the night before.
"I’d just got back from Sunday morning church when I heard a noise.
"I went upstairs and opened the door and was met by lots of smoke."
Ken added: "It must have been half-past-four when I got to bed and I got up just after eight. It has left me traumatised but we were lucky."
Two pumps from Hyndburn Fire Station raced to the scene where they used hose reels, breathing apparatus and a ventilation unit to rid the house of smoke.
Crew manager Liam Barker said: "This is another example of smoke detectors saving people’s lives.
"They were alerted pretty quickly but without the smoke detector it could have been a different story."
He added: "We’re fitting smoke alarms and doing safety checks in the area. This was one of the properties done recently."
Fire crews are currently fitting around 200 smoke detectors every month in the Hyndburn area, as well as carrying out free fire safety checks.
To book a safety check call Freephone 0800 1691125.