A RELIEVED resident has thanked two teenagers who helped prevent a major fire after they spotted clouds of smoke billowing from his roof.

Quick-thinking Matt Wake, 17, and Kane Cullen, 13, dialled 999 as soon as they saw the blaze in Dunster Avenue, Oswaldtwistle on Sunday and then alerted the occupants.

David Halstead, 46, said he and his partner were unaware of the blaze, which had sparked in the loft and was caused by an electrical fault.

The lorry driver added: “The kids came banging on the door saying there was a fire. It’s been a lucky escape because it could have been much worse and we’re really thankful to the kids.”

Fire crews arrived minutes later, just after 6.45pm, and were able to contain the fire and smoke in the loft space, by creating a ventilation hole in the roof.

Matt, an ex-Accrington Academy pupil who lives in nearby Saxon Close, said: “We were just playing in the park at the end of the road and saw smoke coming from the roof.

Kane, of Tower Street, who goes to St Christopher’s High School, said: “The heat was crazy and you could feel it from the street. When the man answered the door he just looked up and saw the smoke and realised what was happening.”

There was no damage to the first floor, although the contents of the loft and some of the structure was destroyed. Crews left the scene at about 9.30pm.

Watch manager Lee Cook said: “The kids definitely did the right thing because if it had been three or four more minutes later it might have been a much worse fire.”