AN Orford family who were lucky to escape a fire which ravaged their house are thanking the community for their support.

Mum-of-two Debra Bradshaw was woken at 5.30am by a loud bang in her kitchen and then the sound of smoke alarms going off.

As she noticed the downstairs of her house filling with smoke she rushed to her eldest son, 11-year-old Tylor and told him to wake up his younger brother Korey, aged six.

And as she turned back the kitchen went up in flames and she quickly dialled 999 before taking her two children out of the house.

Two fire engines attended the scene on Small Avenue on Saturday, March 30 and battled to extinguish the fire which destroyed everything in the house.

Despite the family's best efforts to save their four cats, three sadly died.

They were left with just the pyjamas they were wearing but Debra has been overwhelmed by the support from the community.

Debra, 44, said: "I'm still in a bit of shock. I went back to the house for the first time this week and I cannot believe we all got out of it alive.

"I thought the bang had come from outside so thought nothing of it. Around 30 seconds later the smoke alarm went off so I went to the top of the stairs and saw white smoke filling the downstairs of the house.

"I woke up Tylor and told him to get his brother while I ran back to my room to dial 999.

"The smoke turned thick and black as we ran out and there was a strong, funny smell. At first I thought it was my boiler but the firemen said the fuse box had melted."

The family is waiting for the report into what specifically caused the fire.

Debra was treated for smoke inhalation while her youngest son Korey praised Tylor for saving his life.

Debra added: "I just want to say thank you to the amount of people who have rallied around us.

"The Red Cross turned up at the scene to offer support and we have been rehomed temporarily in a flat.

"Korey had nothing on his feet when he ran out and people have given us bags of clothes, bedding, televisions, sofas - anything we need.

"I can't thank my friends Nena and Lauren enough and the people at Friends of Meadowside who have been my backbone. Without them I don't know what would have happened.

"I cannot believe how many people have offered their help and given us money – people I have never spoken to."

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Debra grew up in Formby and says people from her old town have sent over money and donations while her sister Dawn, who lives in Canada, has been collecting donations from overseas to send over when Debra has a new house.

Her mum has also been a huge help to the family and is currently looking after the family cat as their temporary flat does not allow pets.

Debra said: "Korey keeps saying 'Tylor is my hero' as the firefighters told us if we had waited two more minutes, we wouldn't have made it out.

"Thank you so much to those who have come together to help us."