Whistles certainly did not live up to his name when he used his bark to help rescue a neighbour from his burning home.

The Jack Russell heard the smoke alarm and alerted his owner, Christian Daley, by repeatedly barking.S Steve Dixon fell asleep after he had started frying chips in the kitchen of his home in Holcombe Crescent, Kearsley.

The chip pan caught fire and filled the semi-detached house with smoke.

But Mr Dixon slept through the noise of the fire alarm which had been fitted just six week earlier.

Luckily Whistles would not stop barking.

Mr Daley could hear what he thought was a house alarm and say the blaze in the house opposite at 2.50am.

He tried banging on Mr Dixon's door and then flagged down police who were working nearby. They forced the door open.

Mr Dixon was given oxygen. He said: "I was really shocked and concerned that his kids might be in there too."

A fire spokesman warned of the dangers of deep fat frying in open pans.