An elderly woman has died following a fire in Rishton early on Boxing Day.

Three fire engines were called out to a house fire on Cliff Street, Rishton, at 3.59am, and firefighters rescued rescued a man from the first floor and the woman from the ground floor.

Three people were taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation. The woman died in hospital yesterday evening.

A 53-year-old man who managed to escape the property and was also taken to the Royal Blackburn Hospital suffering from smoke inhalation. He has since been discharged but the 52-year-old man continues to receive treatment although he is not expected to suffer any long term ill effects.

Group manager Ben Norman of Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said: "Our thoughts at this time are with the lady's family.

"We have seen this happen too many times during a period which is supposed to bring joy and happiness.

"The property did have a working smoke alarm; unfortunately, it wasn't enough to help save this lady's life. A joint police and fire investigation is now underway to determine the cause of the fire."

The fire is currently being treated as unexplained but there are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances.