A mother and her two young children were dramatically rescued from their burning home in Lancaster, say fire services.
The mum was upstairs with her children at their home on Edenvale Crescent at around 6.30pm on Wednesday, January 10 when the fire started.
Firefighters say the family were completely unaware of the unfolding emergency downstairs.
But the family were alerted thanks to the quick actions of a passerby, who and spotted flames flickering through the kitchen window.
Watch Manager Kevin Warwick said: "A man who was walking outside the property noticed a flame in the kitchen and gained entry.
"All the occupants were unaware of the fire as they were upstairs. The man shouted up to them and helped the woman get her children out.
"We think the cooker hob was left on and this set fire to a tea towel.
"There was a lot of smoke in the property and the cooker area was well alight.
"Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus extinguished the fire and used ventilation units to clear the house of smoke.
"All of the occupants were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation by paramedics and taken to hospital for checks.
"We would advise members of the community to think carefully about where their smoke alarms are placed.
"Anyone who would like us to check the placement of their smoke alarms should get in touch with us on 0800 169 1125."
Nobody is thought to have been seriously injured in the incident.
Fire crews say the kitchen was severely smoke damaged.