A MUM-of-three has launched a desperate plea for support after a fire tore through her family home, destroying the property and all their possessions.

Rachael Byrne had been putting her three young sons to bed at their house in Lindean Close, Astley Bridge, at around 7pm on Wednesday when tragedy struck.

As she soothed her youngest boy, 1-year-old Ace, who has cerebral palsy and difficulty sleeping, Miss Byrne had unwittingly left a candle wax burner alight downstairs.

The candle was knocked over by Miss Byrne’s French bulldog Bluebell, setting fire to the living room sofa.

Flames quickly took hold and engulfed the whole of the room, but brave Bluebell dashed upstairs to warn her owners ­— clearing a baby stair gate as she went.

Miss Byrne said: “Bluebell was going mental. She’s not allowed upstairs so I knew there was something bothering her. I came downstairs and saw the full couch was on fire.

“I got the dog out and ran upstairs and grabbed my kids and ran out of the house.”

Thankfully neither Miss Byrne nor any of her children were injured during the incident.

Fire crews from Farnworth and Bolton North stations rushed to the scene, fighting back the flames and making sure the home was safe.

However as the living room doors had been left open as the family fled, smoke spread from the room and damaged the rest of the house, leaving nothing salvageable.

Watch manager Mark McColl, from Bolton North fire station, told the Bolton News that the downstairs room has been “destroyed”.

Miss Byrne added: “The smoke and the heat was that bad that even upstairs the light bulbs have melted and everything is damaged.

“All the clothes and beds were ruined. We can’t take anything from the house. All we have left is what we had on.

“I’m exhausted and heartbroken for my children. With Aces health I thought we’d had our share of bad luck.”

The mum had only moved into the family’s new build home 14 months ago ­— which she described as “the nicest house I have ever had”.

“I loved it so much,” she said, adding: “I know it’s just a house but it’s everything I have ever owned and I’m gutted, especially for my 9-year-old son Maddox.

“He has lost all his clothes and toys that he will never be able to get back.”

Following the fire Miss Byrne and her children, Ace, Maddox and two-year-old Ares; have been temporarily put up in a hotel while Bolton at Home work to find them a new house.

They have also been told that they are not allowed to access the property for the time being.

However it may take several days for them to be relocated as Bolton at Home staff and a liaison officer work to ensure the property is child friendly, safe and suitable for Ace’s health needs.

Miss Byrne’s sister, Chelsea Byrne, and friend, Beki McCabe, have also started campaigns to get vital support to the family.

A post on Facebook, made by Chelsea, asking for donations of children’s clothes, shoes and other items, has received hundreds of responses from people offering help and messages of support.

And a Go Fund Me page has been set up by Ms McCabe aiming to fundraise £500, which is already well on the way to reaching its target.

Miss Byrne said: “I am just so grateful and would like to say thank you to everybody, even if you just sent a message. It was received and it means a lot.”

Any clothing or other donations can be dropped off at The Sun Lounge sunbed shop on Chorley Old Road.

To donate to the Go Fund Me appeal visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/beki-mccabe?utm_term=v3QQwZn4z&fbclid=IwAR0hHTbxANjxxc4POHoSiry2TalGULJbUN9RX1ABIa7rWOtdW1i4Gmf5idw.

Speaking after the fire, Mark McCourt, Bolton North crew manager, said: “This incident just shows how quickly a fire can spread and it was lucky that the family were able to get out.

“We want to remind people to make sure they do not leave lit candles and wax burners unattended, put them out before you go to sleep and always burn candles well out of reach of animals or children.

“We also offer fire safety checks and if anyone would like us to come and visit their home to chat about fire safety, particularly around candles in light of what has happened, then please book a free Safe and Well visit.”

To find out more or to book a Safe and Well visit call 0800 555 815.