A WOMAN was forced to jump from a first floor window after a fire tore through three houses in Walkden.

The blaze, in Linnet's Wood Mews, is thought to have started at around 11.30pm in a shed at the rear of a property, before spreading to the kitchen and eventually the roof, engulfing three houses.

Fire crews battled for over an hour to bring the flames under control, preventing the inferno from spreading to more nearby houses.

However the three which caught fire have all lost their roofs and the house where the fire was sparked has extensive internal damage.

 Two women in the their 30s were inside the property with one having to jump from the first floor to escape the flames, suffering injuries to her pelvis and legs.

The other woman managed to self evacuate and a parrot was also later rescued by fire crews.

Both women suffered effects from smoke inhalation and were taken to Salford Royal Hospital for treatment.  

Two dogs owned by the women were also evacuated and are staying with a neighbour, but a pet rabbit has not yet been found.

As a precaution the whole of Linnet's Wood Mews was evacuated, however, no-one was in the two neighbouring properties which caught fire, with one currently sitting vacant.

One of the women's neighbours, Martin Hutchinson, aged 38, noticed the fire from his bathroom and rushed out to try and contain it with his garden hose.

He said:"I was cleaning the bathroom and I heard a pop noise, which wasn't super loud but I wasn't expecting it.

"I looked out of the window and I could see a reddish glow, so I went into the bedroom and saw the shed was on fire.

"Straight away I called the fire brigade. I got a hose and went to the back.

"I was trying to get the hose on it but it was a bit too intense.

"The fire just spread really quickly. It went up the plastic guttering and into the soffit. Once it was in the roof it really took hold."  

His partner Sophie Lawrence, aged 31, added: "I grabbed my three dogs and ran out onto the street as quickly as possible. People were trying to help the lady out of the window."

The Bolton News:

Scene of a house fire at Linnet's Wood Mews, Walkden.

Farnworth Community Fire Station watch manger, Carl Haslam, said: "We were called to a house fire on Linnet's Wood Mews in Walken at 11.30pm last night.

"The fire had started in what appears to be a shed at the rear of the house.

"It then spread to the kitchen and then the soffit and fascia boards. It set fire to the roof and then travelled down three houses.

"Two people were inside. One female self rescued and one female had to jump from a first floor window just as we arrived.

"The fire was well established when we arrived and three houses have lost their roofs.

"One house is internally damaged because that's where the fire spread from initially.  

"We prevented it from spreading to a fourth house but you can see from Sharp Street, that runs to the back of the houses, that the damage is quite extensive.

"The fire took an hour to get under control, and four fire engines initially arrived. 

"The whole street was evacuated and most of the street was out."
Reg Cooper, aged 73, of Linnet's Wood Mews, said: "We live around the corner and we saw smoke. 

"The flames from the shed were really high and we could see them coming from out of the roof. It was nasty but it could have been a lot worse."

The Bolton News:

An investigation into the fire's origins has now been launched by GMP and GMFRS, however it is not thought to be suspicious.

Fire crews will also be in Linnet's Wood Mews and Walkden today offering advice and reassurance to residents.  

Watch manger Haslam said: "The police and fire service are now trying to ascertain the cause of the fire.

"Fire crews will be in the area today offering free smoke alarms and advice as part of a reassurance campaign."