FIREFIGHTERS rescued two parrots after a washing machine fire broke out in the early hours of this morning, Friday.

Three fire crews were sent to a house on Wren Drive in Bury at around 4.20am and arrived six minutes later to find two occupants outside, a man and his son, along with two dogs that had left the property safely.

Four firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the smoke-filled house and separated into two teams of two with one tackling the fire in the kitchen and the other two retrieving two parrots from the lounge.

The fire was extinguished quickly, causing damage to the kitchen surface along with smoke damage.

Bury Station watch manager Steve Wilcock said: "The man was a night worker and he was awake and he had put his washing machine on.

"He was sat in bed watching TV and it went off for no apparent reason.

"He got out of his bedroom and saw a lot of smoke was in the house.

"The smoke detector started beeping and he banged on his son's door and said 'get out it is a fire'.

"They managed to get out of the house with the dogs.

"When we arrived we split up into two teams of two wearing breathing apparatus and used specialised positive ventilation fans which were set up at the front door to give the parrots the best chance to survive."

The parrots were then safely rescued.

The man was given oxygen for smoke inhalation but did not need any medical treatment from paramedics.

Mr Wilcock issued a warning to residents following the fire, which was caused due to an electrical fault in the washing machine.

He said: "While the man was awake this fire should remind people of the important of just being careful with putting large appliances on at night - there is a bit of a risk.

"We are more vulnerable if we are asleep.

"The smoke alarm did come on and they keep people safe and the fire service has got smoke detectors that we can fit for free.

"People need to also keep their internal doors closed when they go to bed and smoke detectors will still go off if there is a fire.

"They also need to make sure they have a key to get out as we have had times when people have been trapped in their homes."

For more information about fire safety at home click here.