CATS and parrots died in a flat fire thought to have been caused by a hob being switched on accidentally.

Firefighters say the woman, who lived in the flat, was saved by her bedroom door being closed.

A neighbour raised alarm after smelling smoke and seeing blackened windows in a neighbouring ground floor flat in Wyndham Park, Prestwich, off Clifton Road at around 10.15am on Sunday.

Firefighters entered the home and found severe smoke damage to all of the rooms except for a bedroom, where the occupant, a woman, aged in her 40s, was sleeping, with her door shut and was unaware of the blaze. She was taken to North Manchester General Hospital as she was suffering from effects of smoke inhalation.

The home had no working smoke alarms.

Three fire engines attended the blaze. The fire was already out on their arrival.

Dan Brown, crew manager at Whitefield Fire Station, said: “We think something has accidentally knocked one of the hob rings and caused the fire. The kitchen was destroyed and every sing room, except for the woman’s bedroom was severely smoke damaged. The woman had shut her bedroom door which stopped it from spreading. Every other door in the house was open except for her bedroom. There was so much smoke inside the flat it actually burned the fire out. Unfortunately two cats and parrots perished in the fire.”

The woman is believed to be staying with relatives due to the damage.

Crews spent an hour at the house and returned to the estate to check the neighbours had smoke alarms. Around 10 were fitted.

He stressed the importance of having working smoke alarms and advised people to shut internal doors to avoid fire spreading.

People can have free fire home safety checks by calling 0800 555 815.