A 73-year-old woman has been taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation after a “serious” house fire in Accrington this morning.
Fire crews were called to the detached bungalow on Haywood Road shortly before 10am today and said the woman was “very lucky” to escape.
Haywood Road was closed off between Moss Hall Road and Hawksworth Road as crews investigate the blaze.
Four firefighters wearing breathing apparatus tackled the fire, while another firefighter administered oxygen to the occupant until arrival of paramedics.
Garry Drinkwater, watch manager at Accrington fire station, said they initially received an ‘abandoned 999 call’.
He said: “The lady had noticed the fire and tried to call 999 but the phone line burnt through.
“She was assisted by a man at the back of her house who had noticed the smoke and was knocking on her door.
“We are still investigating the fire at the moment. It’s a heck of a serious fire as it has destroyed the bathroom, kitchen and back bedroom.
She was very, very lucky to escape.”
The pensioner was treated by paramedics for smoke inhalation and has been taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital for precautionary checks.
Watch manager Drinkwater added: “When we arrived she was more worried about her dog but we managed to find it.
The house is unliveable. We have got a British Red Cross fire victim support unit en route which is going to help her go through the insurance and find her somewhere else to live.
“It’s looking like the fire started in the bathroom but we are still investigating how it started.
“We got here two minutes after the call and the fire was already coming through the windows and was already heavily smoke logged.”
One neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: “I was at home and saw the smoke coming from the back. I knew it wasn’t rubbish so I legged it out of the house and went round the corner.
“There was a man there who had already called the fire brigade.
“The woman was stood in the doorway of her house in her nightie and was looking for her dog. We told her to get away quickly in case the house was going to blow.
“The house is gutted. She said she didn’t know how it started.
“She was in her living room and heard a bang. The next minute there was all this smoke.”
The fire is thought to have been started accidentally by discarded smoking materials. A fire service spokesperson said: “Please be vigilant when discarding smoking materials, making sure they are disposed of safely into a fire proof ashtray.”