A HUNGRY dog caused a devastating fire when he jumped up at the cooker to steal some chicken.

Billy, a large Rhodesian Ridgeback, got into the kitchen while his owner was asleep on her settee in Bankhouse Street, Barrowford, early yesterday.

The woman, who did not want to be named, was only alerted to the raging fire when her 15-year-old ‘hero’ son raised the alarm and the fire brigade was called at 12.53am.

Earlier in the day, she had cooked some chicken which was left on the side near the cooker.

When Billy jumped up to get the meat, he clambered over the electric hob and switched on one of the cooker rings. That heated cookware left nearby and sparked the fire.

The woman, who lives with her husband and two children and had fallen asleep while watching television, said: “It’s just so embarrassing and you just feel so stupid.

“But you never think that something like this is going to happen and I never, ever thought my kitchen would go up in flames because of my dog.

“He’ll just do anything for food. We were really lucky to have made it out and it could have been a lot worse.

“My 15-year-old son came downstairs and saw what was happening and woke me up.

“He’s a hero really because if he hadn’t have done that, anything could have happened.

“We ran outside and called the fire brigade and they were here right away.”

The woman was taken to hospital and treated for a minor burn on her finger, caused when she touched the kitchen door, and checked for any signs of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The blaze almost completely destroyed the newly-decorated kitchen and smoke damaged the rest of the house.