Blaze rescue shock

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Shocked neighbours have told how they witnessed the dramatic rescue of an elderly neighbour and his grand-children.

Michael Daniel, 71, Jodie Bellard, 14, and Laurie Bellard, 12, were pulled from the house on Nateby Avenue, South Shore, when a portable oil heater set alight.

The flames rapidly spread throughout the home and engulfed the staircase, blocking their exit.

Both youngsters managed to make it out of a first floor window and onto a ledge where they were taken down by the fire service.

But Mr Daniel, who suffers from epilepsy, was evacuated out of the front door after it was broken down by firefighters at 5.25am on Tuesday.

All three were taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital suffering from smoke inhalation but were released at lunchtime the same day to recover at a relative’s home.

Lee Lauren lives opposite Mr Daniel and was woken by the screams of the girls, who had been staying overnight in the terraced house.

She said: “I got out of bed when I heard the voices and saw the lights of the fire engines and ambulances.

“There was billowing smoke coming out of the window and I couldn’t see the house.

“When the fire engines turned up they got the girls out straight away then kicked the door down to get Mr Daniel out.

“I’ve never seen anything like that in this street because it’s a quiet road.”

Bill Laing, 80, added: “I’m always up at 6am and I saw flashing lights filling the street.

“I was quite surprised and shocked because it’s quite a quiet road and there is never any trouble around here.”

Maggie James, 72, added: “I was immediately concerned about my neighbour when I saw the fire engines in the street and it looked very serious.

“It was a shock and I didn’t know what was going on, especially when you see so many flashing lights. He’s a lovely man and I’m sorry to hear about it.”

Another Nateby Avenue resident who did not want to be named, added: “My wife rushed out to see if she could help. The girls had got out of the window and were on the ledge and the fire service were already there.

“They were very shaken up and freezing because it was very cold.”

Pauline Bellard, Mr Daniel’s daughter, added: “We would like to thank the Fire Service and ambulance crews for what they did. They were extremely professional and I’m so grateful for their help.”