An heroic neighbour today described the moment he and another man pulled an injured elderly woman from her burning home.
Quick-thinking Nigel Green, 44, rushed to the rescue after hearing what he described as a huge bang in a nearby ground floor flat on the Cherry Tree Gardens estate, in Marton.
After charging out of his own home, Mr Green tried to get into the blazing flat through a locked door as thick, black smoke filled the air.
While he phoned the fire brigade, another man, who had also run to the rescue, managed to gain access to the building and the pair then hauled the woman, who was conscious, to safety.
The 86-year-old victim was taken to the Royal Preston Hospital with burns to her face, but the full extent of her injuries is not yet known.
Mr Green and the other man, who has not been identified, were today hailed for their quick-thinking actions by firefighters, who said they had stopped the incident becoming even more serious.
Mr Green said: “I heard an almighty bang then a load of smoke came past the window.
“I knew it was something serious because it was billowing out, it was putrid. We both got her out safely but her hair was all singed and she was in a bit of a mess actually. She had burns on her head and a lot of her hair had come off.
“I just wanted to get whoever it was out of there. I saw flames in the window and the front door was locked, but in the end we just walked her out.
“I only moved in on Monday and the neighbours said it was quiet round here.”
Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service has yet to determine the cause of the blaze, which happened at around 10.05am yesterday.
But station manager Tony Ashworth, who is investigating the fire, hailed the selflessness of the two heroes.
He said: “Their quick-thinking actions helped reduce the risk of further injury to the lady.
“There was the danger of putting themselves at risk but what they did in this instance was the correct thing to do.”
Around 15 firefighters from South Shore and Blackpool fire stations spent more than 40 minutes tackling the blaze.
The kitchen was destroyed by fire, heat and smoke. The blaze caused further smoke damage to four ground floor rooms.
Fire and police personnel are also investigating another fire which happened in the early hours of yesterday morning.
A fire on a mattress broke out in a flat on Cookson Street, in central Blackpool, at around 5.15am.
One woman was treated at the scene by paramedics for smoke inhalation after running into the burning building.
Investigators are not ruling out the blaze being suspicious.
Mr Ashworth said: “At this moment in time we are unable to establish the cause.”