A FAMILY has been left distraught after two of its pet cats were killed in a blaze.

A faulty toaster is believed to have sparked off a fire which caused extensive smoke damage to a house on Langdale Road, Partington on Tuesday afternoon.

Homeowners Christina, aged 52, and 65-year-old Gerald Beaver had gone out shortly before the fire broke out.

But two of their three cats - five year-old Angel and her son Timmy - were overcome by smoke and firefighters found them found dead in a bedroom.

The couple’s other cat, Timmy’s sister, Tilly, was out of the house and survived.

The house was so extensively smoke damaged that the family has to find temporary accommodation.

But Christina and Gerald say they and their children - Jordan, 19, and Manor High School pupil Amy, 15 - are far more upset about the loss of their beloved pets.

Christina said: “We are all mortified. Amy was so upset she was crying in class this morning.”

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used two hose reels to extinguish the blaze after being called at 1.20pm.

Fire chiefs say people can take steps to prevent electrical fires.

Station manager Ben Levy said: “Fires in the home can often be caused by faulty electrical appliances but most can be prevented by following some simple guidelines.

“These include not overloading sockets, turning off electrical appliances when not in use, replacing plugs and cables that are old or poorly wired and – in the kitchen – checking that toasters are clean and away from materials such as curtains or kitchen rolls.

“If there is an electrical fire, pull the plug out, or switch off the power at the fuse box – but only if it is safe to do so. Never use water on an electrical fire, and don't take any risks with your safety – remember: get out, stay out and call 999.”