A SMOULDERING cigarette set a settee on fire after a flat occupant had gone out.

Firefighters were called to Melville Drive in Blackburn at 9.15pm on Wednesday.

They gained access to the property and put out the fire, which severely damaged the item of furniture and caused a lot of smoke damage.

A working smoke alarm alerted a passer-by who called the fire service.

Watch manager Malcolm Dewhurst said: “We would urge people to ensure cigarettes and cigars are properly extinguished, especially when leaving your home.

“Please also empty ashtrays so large piles of ash do not build up.

“Luckily this person had working smoke alarms so we were alerted before it got out of hand.

“If anyone does not have a working smoke alarm, they should contact their local fire service who will fit them for free.”