TWO boys are lucky to be alive today after a garage fire.
Firefighters say the youngsters, aged 12 and 13, had lit the fire among rubbish in the garage near the centre of Elland to keep warm and then climbed into an abandoned car.
Staff from a nearby taxi office spotted smoke spiralling from the garage at 9.20 last night and alerted the nearby Elland fire station.
The garage was one of several on land behind Crossley's Garage at Huddersfield Road. Firefighters were quickly on the scene.
Sub-officer Rodger Binns said: "We opened the garage door to find the place full of smoke.
"We quickly doused the rubbish and then stood back while the smoke cleared.
"We then went back in to check there were no more fires and discovered the car.
"We looked inside and were shocked to find the two boys curled up and unconscious in the footwells."
The firefighters banged on the windows to try to rouse the youngsters, but to no avail.
They smashed the window, opened the doors and carried the boys out to fresh air.
They gave them oxygen at the scene and the boys started to come round before paramedics arrived.
They were taken to Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax.
Sub-officer Binns added: "These boys are very lucky to be alive. It is just incredibly lucky that people at the taxi office saw the smoke.
"There was a larger pile of rubbish near to the fire and if the flames had spread to that the whole garage would have gone up and they would have died.
"As it was, they had been overcome by the smoke and if the fire had not been noticed, the smoke alone could have killed them."
He added: "We understand there have been problems with children starting fires in garages in this area and hope they will learn from this incident."