HEROIC neighbours have rescued a family of three from a burning house after a children’s game went horribly wrong.

Two children, a boy and a girl, aged two and four, were rescued by a neighbour who pitched a ladder up against the house when a fire broke out in the living room.

Crews from Leigh and Wigan Fire Stations were called to the semi-detached house on Elm Avenue, Golborne, just before 9am this morning, Thursday.

When the crews arrived the neighbour had already rescued the children and a postman, who was completing his daily round, had broken down the front door and lead the mother of the children to safety.

Fire station manager Steve Sheridan said: "The house is on a cul-de-sac and all the neighbours can see each other's homes.

"After seeing the house was on fire one of the neighbours pitched a ladder and rescued two young children, then the postman turned up shouldered the door in and got their mum out through the front door.

"Another neighbour went round the back and smashed the back door in to try and get them out too.

"They've all done a fantastic job to rescue this family - their actions have potentially saved the lives of this family.

"We think the fire has started in the living room. The firefighters quickly extinguished the fire, which involved a settee in the living room of the house."

The family all suffered smoke inhalation during their ordeal and were taken to the Wigan Infirmary.

Their condition is not thought be life-threatening.

One neighbour suffered smoke inhalation during the rescue and another suffered cuts to his hands and legs as he tried to enter the house.

The fire is thought to have started in the living room after a game between the children went disastrously wrong. Smoke alarms were fitted in the property but were not working.

Chair of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, Clr David Acton, said: "Thanks to the brave actions of these neighbours and the local postman, this family have survived their ordeal.

"Matches and lighters are incredibly dangerous in children's hands - keep them far away from where they can reach.

"This family had smoke alarms in their property but they were faulty - a faulty smoke alarm is useless.

"Test your alarms once a week and never tamper with them - one day they could save your life."

Do you know the identity of the hero neighbours or the postman who helped with the rescue? Get in touch by emailing sophie.arnold@nqnw.co.uk or calling 01925 426811.