CHRISTMAS came early for one family after they got a visit from Santa a month after their house was gutted in a blaze.
Debbie O'Connor, 41, and her children Dale, 16, Shaun, 15, and Melissa, seven, were left homeless when their house in Union Road, Oswaldtwistle, was destroyed when a fire broke out under the stairs.
Since then, the family have been living with friends on the same street.
But this week, they got a surprise visit from Father Christmas, who arrived on a sleigh laden with presents as part of a generous gift from Church and Oswaldtwistle Rotary Club.
Debbie got chocolates and a washing machine and Dale received a Blackburn Rovers kit, while Shaun got CD vouchers and Melissa a new bike.
Until the blaze, Debbie was an English student at Blackburn College, which she has since had to give up.
She said: "It was absolutely fantastic that the club organised this for us as we certainly didn't expect it.
"It is all up in the air at the moment as we are just waiting for the insurance to come through so we can get the house sorted out.
"It has been very tough. For the first two weeks I was just in shock and we were glad to have got out alive but then you realise the sentimental things you have lost.
"I had a photographs of my parents, who are now both dead, which are gone.
"Melissa was really thrilled with her bike and she has been playing on it a lot. We just can't wait to get this year out of the way so we can have a new start."
Lennie Herbert, community services chairman for Church and Oswaldtwistle Rotary Club, said: "They were delighted with the presents and there was a large crowd there on the day.
"The club is here to help in any way we can and I know Debbie was very tearful."
The family will soon be enjoying a meal at the Balti Stan Indian restaurant, Whalley Road, Clayton-le-Moors, which has also been organised by the club.