FIREFIGHTERS were called to a flat in Oswaldtwistle after a smoke alarm alerted residents.

The crew discovered a contaminant, thought to be oil, had fallen inside a storage heater and begun smouldering.

People in the Higher Heys apartment could smell smoke, but could not find the source, and reset their alarm. When it began beeping again, they called the fire service at 5.15am yesterday.

Crew manager Rob Birtwistle said: “Because they had a working smoke alarm, it made them aware of a potential fire.

“If they didn’t have one, or if it wasn’t working properly, it would have ignited.

“Having a smoke alarm made all the difference, and we advise people to make sure theirs are in good order too.”