A MAN rescued from his burning house as he tried to save his pet kitten has been reunited with the cat he calls his best friend.

Stephen Craggs, 34, of Hirst Street, Burnley, collapsed unconscious in the upstairs bedroom of the terrace house.

He had dashed back into the building when he realised nine-month-old Patch was still inside.

He was pulled free by firefighters and given oxygen at the scene before being taken to Burnley General Hospital for a check.

The fire broke out in the kitchen of the house when a burning pan melted the plastic sink and set fire to kitchen units.

Smoke soon spread through the rest of the house.

The kitten escaped the blaze unharmed after finding its own hiding place in the house.

Stephen said: "When I realised the house was on fire, I got out as quickly as I could but then I remembered that Patch was inside and I panicked.

"I ran back in to try to find her and rescue her.

"I passed out in the upstairs bedroom after I was overcome with the smoke. Apparently there was no sign of Patch inside the house but she could not have got out.

"I guess she must have found somewhere safe to sit it out until the danger had passed.

"I have no idea where she found to hide, but at least she's OK.

"I'm delighted she didn't come to any harm.

"My last cat was killed and Patch was her re-placement, so I'm glad she's still alive.

"I don't think I could bear to lose her as well."

Fire chiefs warned people not to risk their lives for their pets after the incident.