A FAMILY were saved from a house fire in the early hours of the morning – by their dog.

Chris and Helen Bloor, and their 10-year-old son, Isaac, were in bed asleep when a fire broke out at their Church Avenue home in Baxenden around 2.50am yesterday.

The smoke alarm didn’t sound, but the family woke when Patterdale Terrier Bella raised the alarm.

Electronics engineer Chris said: “She wakes at the slightest noise and we thought it was the milkman at first.

“We heard her bark, and she jumped on the bed and she didn’t settle – she carried on barking.

“We could hear a popping noise, and I got up and could smell a faint smell of smoke.”

After discovering the immersion heater in the bathroom’s airing cupboard had caught fire, the family fled to safety and called 999.

Chris said the family were fortunate Bella alerted them.

He added: “We are lucky she woke us up. It could have been a lot worse.

“The smoke alarm would not have gone off until the escape route was blocked.”

Teaching assistant Helen said: “Isaac was really calm, I think it is because fire brigade talk to them at school. We got him out and took him next door.

“The fire service were here quickly and were really good.”

Ten firefighters from Accrington tackled the blaze using hoses, and cleared the home of smoke using ventilation units, a spokesman said.

The family, who have lived in Church Avenue for 15 years, were left counting the cost of the blaze.

The bathroom was badly damaged by fire, and the rest of the house smoke damaged.

And Chris and Helen had to take time off work while they dealt with the aftermath.

Chris said: “I’m wearing the next door neighbour’s clothes because everything smells of smoke.”