A FIREFIGHTER climbed through an open window, put out a small fire, and left without waking the two occupants who were sound asleep on the settee.

Fire crews were called to a flat in Blackburn after a neighbour was woken by a smoke alarm at 4.30am on Saturday.

When they arrived, the flat, in De Lacy House, Preston New Road, had a window open, so one of the crew climbed up a drainpipe to get in.

Crew manager Martin Counsell said: “Two lads had fallen asl-eep on the settee while cooking, so we turned off the heat and poured water on it, and left without waking them as they were well away. They would probably have a shock when they woke up the next day!”

It was the second incident of the night where lives were saved by working smoke alarms.

The first incident was at 11pm, in Regents View, after a man cooked food, but left the chip pan on the stove. Mr Counsell said: “He fell asleep and the pan caught fire. Luckily, he had a working smoke alarm which woke him up and gave him the chance to get outside and call us.

“The kitchen was severely damaged by fire, and there was a lot of smoke damage to the rest of the property.”

Mr Counsell added: “It was quite a long way out for us, but we got there quite quickly, and the crew did a great job to to get in there and sort things out quickly.”

He said: “These were two more incidents where working smoke alarms have saved lives.

“Had it not been for the alarms, these people may not have wok-en up at all. I cannot stress en-ough the importance of checking smoke alarms are in full work-ing order.”