A TEENAGER has thanked firefighters who saved his life by rescuing him from a burning building.
Hamad Jahanzeb, 15, was overcome by thick smoke and lost consciousness in the bedroom of his home in Persia Street, Accrington.
The crew from Accrington Fire Station's Red Watch battled to reach him using a hydraulic lift and plucked him to safety.
And last Friday the Moorhead Sports College pupil met his rescuers again to express his heartfelt gratitude.
They had been called to the house at around 6am and found Hamad's father Ahmed, mother Nazira and sisters Maryam, 22, and Madiah, 17, on the street outside yelling to him to get out.
But he could not get downstairs because of the smoke and it was too far to jump out of the window.
Firemen Chris Goddard and Joe Darwin found Hamad unconscious in his bedroom and carried him into the lift and down to safety.
He was treated by paramedics at the scene before being taken to the Royal Blackburn Hospital.
Hamad recalled: "I was awoken by the smoke and I called for my brother because at first I thought the fire was next door. Then I saw the flames and smoke.
"I tried to get out of my room but the smoke was coming through the floorboards and it was very hot."
Hamad said he ripped his shirt off and put it over his mouth. He then dropped on his knees to protect himself but quickly lost consciousness.
He said: "The next thing I remember is being outside on the pavement and the paramedics treating me and the trip to the hospital.
"There is no doubt that the firemen saved my life. They were great and I was very lucky."
Faulty wiring in a freezer in the kitchen is believed to have caused the blaze.
An internal door connects the terraced house Hamad was sleeping in with his younger brother Hamza, 13, to the house occupied by the rest of the family.
Hamza was on the ground floor and was able to get out of the house while Hamad was upstairs.
Hamad spent nearly two weeks in hospital where he received treatment for smoke inhalation. He was released last week and has since been recovering at home.
He said this week he was feeling better but would have to rest for the remainder of his summer holidays.
Later this year he plans to join his lifesavers when they take on other watches in a cricket tournament.
Watch manager Craig Etherington, who helped during the incident, said: "When we pulled him out we didn't think he was going to make it. We acted swiftly and that is what saved him."
He added that there was no smoke detector in the house, which would have alerted him to the danger earlier.
The fire service is currently offering free safety checks and smoke alarms to homes across Hyndburn. Phone 0800 169 1125 for more information.