A FAMILY were forced to flee as a fire ripped through their home in the middle of the night.

The blaze broke out in the garden of the terraced home in Hayling Close shortly after midnight on Tuesday morning.

After it spread to a back bedroom, two adults and two young children were forced to evacuate along with a number of neighbours.

One resident reported seeing a man rescue his son from the burning building.

Fire crews from Whitefield, Bury, Bolton, Ramsbottom and Rawtenstall rushed to the scene and tackled the blaze throughout the night.

The cause of the fire is not yet known and is being investigated by the fire service. However, it is not believed to be suspicious.

On Wednesday morning, dozens of items, including children's toys, lay strewn across the driveway of the house.

Evidence of major damage to fencing, decking and a garden shed was also visible.

The fire also caused some damage to the rear of other houses on the street.

A neighbour said: "It is devastating, I cannot believe what has happened.

"I am just so glad that they managed to get the kids out."

Another neighbour added: "I was in bed and a lady a few doors down noticed the flames and alerted everyone.

"It went up really quickly."

Neighbours in the area offered clothes and refuge to the family for the rest of the night.

Donna Thornley, the mother of the woman living in the house, took to Facebook to thank those who had helped.

She said: "Ok so as many of you now know, my daughter and her family home went on fire last night, and it pains me to say they have lost pretty much everything.

"Mum and dad have arrived at mine with clothes on donated on the street from the kind neighbours and nothing more, so my plea is, if anyone has anything at all they could donate to help us out it would be greatly appreciated.

"Massive thank you to all those who have already donated. We are all very tired now and a bit squashed Haha but all safe and well which we are grateful for, if we dont reply straight away we apologise but we are settling the babies and trying to figure out where we go from here."

A JustGiving page has now been set up to help raise money to support the family. To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/craig-wedderburn-nikki-shedwick.