A FAMILY woke up to find an electric heater in their living room on fire.

The family, including two young children and a pregnant mother, fled their home in Haslingden Old Road, Guide, yesterday shortly before 5am.

Fire crews said the property had been fitted with smoke alarms but had been removed due to low battery bleeping.

The fire involved a portable electrical heater that had been left switched on in the living room.

The heater had a thermo-stat but an electrical fault caused it to set on fire.

The occupier had woken up and could smell smoke. Upon investigation he found a fire burning in the living room and attempted to extinguish it with water, the fire service was called and the family left the house.

The ground floor suffered extensive smoke damage.

The pregnant mother received precautionary check by paramedics for smoke inhalation.

Blackburn watch manager Mark Fogarty, said: “If the occupier had not woken and the fire had been allowed to develop the incident would have been life threatenings.

“I urge everyone to test their smoke alarms or if they do not have any to call us for a free home fire safety check.”