A 15-YEAR-OLD boy with learning difficulties was taken to a specialist hospital after his heart stopped when a fire ripped through his family home.

The boy, suffering cardiac arrest, was rescued by firefighters and taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital before being transferred to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool.

Emergency services were called to the blaze at the property in Brunel Walk, Blackburn, just after 9pm on Saturday.

Crews found most members of the household had managed to escape, but the 15-year-old was trapped upstairs and had to be rescued by firefighters wearing breathing apparatus.

The fire, which is believed to have started in one of the bedrooms, spread through the first floor, causing extensive smoke damage and destroying the bedroom the teenager was in.

A spokesman for the fire service said: “Four fire engines attended the incident and crews equipped with breathing apparatus used two hose reels and a ventilation unit to extinguish the fire. One person suffering burns was rescued by firefighters and a total of six people were taken to hospital.”

A neighbour on Brunel Walk, who did not want to be named, said: “It was a very big fire. Everyone was stood out on the street. The family were screaming, saying ‘Save my children’.”

Neighbour, Saeeda Mulla, who lives on nearby Stirling Drive, said: “By the time I came out to have a look the whole street was out and there was a lot of smoke and you could tell how bad it was just by looking at the windows.

“It was quite worrying as there’s a family of children who live there and I know from the layout of my house that the internal walls aren’t very strong so the fire could easily have spread to the rest of the house.”

Angela Entwistle, who also lives on Stirling Drive said: “I saw the flashing lights from my window and came out to have a look. I’ve never been so close to a fire like that before. There was a lot of commotion and it was pretty scary.”

A police spokesman said: “We received a report from the fire service of a number of people trapped in a property at Brunel Walk, Blackburn. On arrival two adults along with five children were out of the house.

“A 15-year-old boy had to be rescued from the property by the fire crew and was in cardiac arrest. He was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital before being transferred to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.”

The ambulance service gave treatment for smoke inhalation at the scene and six people were taken to hospital. An investigation into the cause of the fire is underway.