A PAN caught fire at a house in Mellor.

Firefighters were called to St Mary's Court in Church Lane, Mellor, after an elderly couple had started to cook food in a pan and left the kitchen to watch tv at 6.50pm on Thursday

Blackburn Fire Station acting watch manager Lee Garnett said the pan of food had burnt dry, causing a substantial amount of smoke to fill the house.

He said: "Luckily this activated the smoke alarm.

"Fire fighters opened windows and used ventilation units to remove the smoke from the property.

"We've seen an increase of fire call outs to homes with older or elderly people recently.

"Smoke alarms save lives, you are more than twice as likely to die in a fire at home if you haven’t got one.

"A smoke alarm is the easiest way to alert you to the danger of fire, giving you and your family precious time to escape.

"Avoid leaving cooking unattended, most fires start in the kitchen."