AN EX soldier kept calm and carried on when his oven burst into flames.

Richard Laverty, aged 41 was cooking when his son, Hayden, aged 18, noticed smoke coming from the oven, in his flat in Chorley New Road.

As Hayden bent down to look inside the oven he saw flames, which engulfed the appliance.

Despite the rising flames Mr Laverty’s military training kicked in and he and his son immediately turned off the flat’s electric, before taking precautions to minimise damage and ensure his neighbours were safe.

Mr Laverty, who has lived in the property of 18 months, said: “I’m ex army so I have some fire training but I had no dry powder so I couldn’t put it out myself, so we had no choice but to call the fire brigade.

“There wasn’t really a feeling of panic. We went round to neighbours and told them what had happened to make sure that they were ok, because we didn’t know how long the fire brigade were going to be.”

The block of four flats, housing around seven residents, was evacuated, but all have now returned to their homes.

The blaze, which occurred at around 6.40pm on Monday was believed to be sparked by an electrical fault in the cooker.

Mr Laverty’s kitchen escaped with only minimal damage, thanks to his quick thinking.

Mr Laverty said: “The fire brigade were chuffed with us because I opened the window to let the smoke out, and closed the door.

“They said it is very very rare and most people wouldn’t have done that, and they said it could have spread.

“We did everything perfect and there’s not much more that we can do.”

However, Mr Laverty said the situation was a lucky escape.

He said: “It was just me and my son in the flat, but it could have been way worse. I have a daughter who is disabled, so it could have been a lot worse. So I’m very lucky in that respect.

“Plus I get a new cooker, because the last one was about 20 years old.

“But it does make you think. It could have been so much different.”