A BLAZE caused by discarded ashes from a fire pit severely damaged a semi-detached bungalow in Chadderton today (Tuesday).

Three fire engines and 13 firefighters tackled the fire at a property in Ribble Avenue at around noon.

Luckily the female occupant and the owner of the adjoining bungalow were both out at the time.

The fire spread rapidly into the roof space and caused extensive damage.

Blue Watch Manager Ben McDermott from Oldham Fire Station said the blaze was caused after discarded ashes caught fire inside a wheelie bin which then ignited logs stored next the property and spread to the building.

Two crews from Oldham and a crew from Chadderton Fire Station quickly managed to contain the fire but remained at the scene for around three hours, removing 50 per cent of the roof tiles and combustible material to ensure the fire was out.

They were relieved by colleagues from Hollins and Heywood who continued the salvage operation throughout the afternoon.

Watch Manager McDermott said: "Thankfully we managed to stop the fire reaching the property next door but the bungalow itself was severely damaged.

"This lady thought the ashes had cooled sufficient but that wasn't the case.

"The message here is don't put ashes in wheelie bins. Wheelie bins burn well and rapidly.

"This was without doubt a very hard lesson to learn and has had devastating consequences."

He said firefighters will be offering free smoke alarms and fire safety advice to those living in Ribble Avenue area as part of their preventative follow-up procedure.