A PET cat has died in a house fire caused by an electronic cigarette left charging upstairs.

Firefighters from Leigh and Hindley were called when a fire broke out in the bedroom of a semi-detached house on Edna Road in Leigh at 9.48pm on Saturday.

The fire is believed to have started when an electronic cigarette was left plugged in in an upstairs bedroom.

Watch Manager Ian Tattersall, from Leigh Fire Station, said: "A woman, her partner and three children - aged 13, nine and four - were outside when we got there and luckily didn't need any treatment.

“Sadly the pet cat wasn't so lucky and died in the fire.

"Firefighters worked hard to tackle the fire, that spread to the loft of the house and we also stopped it from spreading to the house next door.

"If the fire had started in the middle of the night when everyone was asleep things could have been much worse as we don't believe that there were working smoke alarms in the house."

Firefighters wore breathing apparatus and tackled the fire using hose reels. They also used a thermal imaging camera to make sure the fire hadn't spread to places they couldn't see and a fan to push smoke out of the house.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service are now warning people to keep an eye on their electrical items.

Clr David Acton, Chair of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, said: "The family involved had a lucky escape with discovering the fire when they did, although their house is damaged from the fire and they have sadly lost their pet.

"Please can we remind people about taking extra care when it comes to their electrical items and not leaving them plugged in too long and making sure that wires, plugs and chargers and in good working order."