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Mum's praise for neighbours after Burnley house fire
12:00pm Monday 26th August 2013 in Burnley
A BURNLEY mother-of-two whose kitchen caught fire while she was out has praised her neighbours after they alerted firefighters.
Wendy Chapman, 30, had taken her daughters to a circus at Turf Moor when neighbours heard the smoke alarm go off at her Holcombe Drive home.
Fire crews arrived within a minute and forced entry to rescue her Staffordshire terrier, Lenny.
Ms Chapman said she was grateful to next-door neighbour Alan Roberts, who alerted firefighters after hearing a smoke alarm and spotting smoke caused by a pan left on the cooker hob.
She said: “I can’t thank Alan and the rest of the neighbours enough.
“Someone must have knocked the hob on accidentally before we left the house but it just goes to show that there is a real community spirit here and that people look out for each other.
“If they had just ignored it, the damage could have been a lot worse.”
The fire caused smoke damage to the ground floor and destroyed the pan.
Ms Chapman was visiting the circus at Burnley FC with her daughters, Jessica, 10, Lily, five, and her mum Pat when she found out her home was on fire.
She said: “All I could think about was if the dog was okay. I was almost more concerned about him than the house.
“I legged it back. I haven’t run that fast since I did cross-country at school.
“Lenny was laid out flat as a pancake (inside the house) then he panicked, but they got him outside and he managed to get his breath back and everyone is fine.”
Two engines from Burnley fire station spent over an hour at the scene from 7.50pm on Friday.
Crew manager, Alan Ashworth, said: “Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the property, switched off the cooker and removed the pan. The dog was brought out to fresh air and made a full recovery.
“This fire was discovered very early on because there was a smoke alarm in the property, which alerted the neighbour.
“Smoke alarms not only save lives but they significantly reduce the amount of damage due to the early warning of the fire.”
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