A litter of puppies was rescued from a smoke-filled kitchen during an early morning blaze.
The pets were carried to safety after the occupier of a house in Austwick Road, Lancaster was awoken by a smoke alarm at around 4am on Saturday.
The fire is believed to have started in an electric toaster and caused damage to a worktop, tiles and cupboards.
A fire brigade spokesman said it appeared the blaze happened after the woman occupant had tried to use the toaster to light a cigarette and had then gone off to bed.
When she was woken by the smoke alarm she went downstairs to find a developing fire in the corner of the kitchen.
She took the puppies out of the room to safety and then extinguished the fire using damp clothing. A neighbour, who heard the alarm, called the emergency services.
The spokesman said: “The fire service always advises occupants to get out, stay out and call the fire service out, ensuring that the door is closed on a fire and all occupants are evacuated.
“No attempts should be made to extinguish a fire that has the potential to endanger life.”