Barbecue fire halted thanks to heroic Tilly

Crews from Blackpool leaving the scene of an accidental fire in Poulton-Le-Fylde.

Pics from @blackpool_fire twitter account

Crews from Blackpool leaving the scene of an accidental fire in Poulton-Le-Fylde. Pics from @blackpool_fire twitter account

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A hero dog helped raised the alarm after a still-lit barbecue burst into flames – badly-damaging a family car.

Firefighters from Blackpool fire station were called to Tithebarn Place, Poulton, at around 8pm on Tuesday after resident Paul Markham, 45, saw flames had broken out in his neighbour’s garage.

Hero dog Tilly who alerted her owner Paul Markham to the fire that had broken out in his neighbours' garage

Hero dog Tilly who alerted her owner Paul Markham to the fire that had broken out in his neighbours' garage

It was brave English bull terrier Tilly who alerted Mr Markham to the fire, which damaged the garage roof and garden fence, as well as the family’s car.

Paul said: “She started acting very strangely; she started barking and came up to me looking very agitated.”

Mr Markham followed his dog to the window, where he noticed the fire and promptly called 999.

He said: “It was quite scary. I thought the car was going to explode.

“I ran out and knocked on the door. They were shocked; they didn’t even know what was happening.”

The family was evacuated onto the street while firefighters arrived at the scene.

A fire service spokesman said: “We were called at around 8pm to a fire involving rubbish which then spread to a vehicle.

“Firefighters used a hosereel and ventilation unit to extinguish the fire.

“There was damage caused to three wheelie bins, a garden fence, a section of the garage roof and the front bumper of the car.”

The spokesman added: “We believe the fire was caused by a barbecue.”

Mr Markham said: “Tilly was the hero of the day. If it wasn’t for her things could have turnedout much worse.”