A MASKED gunman burst into a post office and threatened the lone worker with what she believed was a shotgun.

The would-be robber walked into Furthergate post office in Cherry Street, Blackburn at 11.40am yesterday and ordered the counter clerk to give him ‘everything’.

But the brave clerk refused and pressed a panic button to alert police.

As the siren sounded, the man tried to escape but was chased by a customer who stopped him. 

The 32-year-old worker, who returned to work less than three hours after the incident, was praised by police for her bravery and quick-thinking.

Detectives said the ‘gun’ turned out to be made from cardboard but the victim didn’t know that at the time.

The Blackburn mother, who gave her name only as Shazia, said: “I just stayed really calm. I don’t know what I was thinking really.

“I think I was just in shock.

“I have worked here for eight years and nothing like this has ever happened before.

“You never think it will happen to you and when it did I just wasn’t sure how to react.

“He pointed the gun at me and gave me a plastic bag and said ‘give me everything’. I didn’t hand over anything. I just pressed the panic button and he ran off. The sound must have frightened him I think.

“A customer saw him running away and said to me, ‘are you ok?’. When I said I was, he chased after him and caught him.”

Shazia said the man was holding what looked like a shotgun underneath a black sheet of plastic and that he pointed it right at her.

He had a scarf pulled up over his face and was wearing black tinted sunglasses, a sky-blue hoodie and a cap.

The brave worker closed the shop while she spoke to the police but by 2pm, she returned to work as normal.

Detective Constable Andy Bleasdale, from Blackburn CID, said: “We were called to Cherry Street at 11.40am.

“The man had entered the post office, brandishing what was thought to be a gun and made a demand for money.

“Shazia did really well and acted very bravely, considering that she thought it was a gun.

“The firearm actually turned out to have been made by the offender himself out of cardboard and he held it in a way that made it look like a shotgun in a bag.

“A member of the public also acted with bravery by chasing the man and detaining him until we arrived at the scene.”

((BLOB)) A 39-year-old man from Blackburn has been arrested in connection with the incident and was being interviewed last night.