A FAMILY was awoken by their smoke alarm after a washing machine caught fire in the middle of the night.

The fire in Acre Avenue, Stacksteads, caused severe smoke damage to the house. The family got out safely, but a woman suffered smoke inhalation.

Firefighters from Bacup were called at 12.30am.

Watch manager Chris Haworth said: “Fortunately the house had a working smoke alarm so the family got out safely.

“I would like to stress the importance of turning off and unplugging electrical appliances at night.

“Things like washing machines should never be left running while you are in bed.

“If this family didn’t have smoke alarms, this could have been so much worse.”