AN 80-year-old New Mill man awoke to find his bed in flames when using a candle during a power cut.

Dennis Ewart, of Syke Bottom, off Sheffield Road, managed to flee his burning bed after it caught fire yesterday.

But sadly, firefighters later discovered his pet terrier dog had died in the upstairs bathroom.

The drama prompted fire officers to repeat warnings about the dangers of candles and homes without smoke alarms.

Sub Officer Paul Haigh, of Holmfirth fire station, said Mr Ewart was lucky to be alive.

He said: "This man was extremely lucky.

"We could have been looking at a New Year's Day tragedy here.

"I can only repeat the warning again for people to be extremely careful when using candles and to have fire alarms fitted in their homes."

Mr Ewart was settled in bed for the night by his family after a New Year's Eve party at his home.

He awoke just before 3am to discover his bedclothes had been set alight by a candle on a bedside table. He managed to drag himself downstairs and alert his son, who lives next door.

His pet terrier dog refused to come downstairs despite his persistent calling and it was discovered dead in the upstairs bathroom by firefighters.

Mr Ewart was taken to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary for precautionary checks following the fire.

Crews from Holmfirth, Skelmanthorpe and Huddersfield attended the fire in the two-storey mid terraced house.