A FOUR-year-old girl sustained up to 80 per cent burns to her face and body after her clothes caught fire on a domestic gas fire.

The youngster remains sedated in hospital following the incident in Horne Street, Bury at 12.30pm on Saturda, December 8.

The girl, who has not been named, is described as stable and on a ventilator after undergoing surgery at Manchester Children’s Hospital.

It is believed the girl may have fallen into the gas fire, but a formal police and fire investigation into the circumstances is underway.

When fire crews arrived at the scene, the girl was being treated by paramedics.

Bury Fire Station Manager Mark Threader said: “Tragically, this little girl is really very poorly in hospital and is badly burned to both her face and body.

“It is obviously a very distressing time for her family and for neighbours in the area, so firefighters have been carrying out reassurance campaigns in Horne Street.

“More than 100 homes have been sent a letter containing fire safety advice, because as the cold weather sets in more people will be using fires, heaters and candles to keep warm.

“With this in mind, we are stressing that loose clothing and naked flames do not mix – and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is urging people to use fire guards and not to stand too close to naked flames and fires in a bid to keep warm.”

Neighbour Farzana Bibi spoke of her shock: “The girl would sometimes say hello when the family were going past.

“I saw her being taken in the ambulance and her arm and face looked burned, very badly, I thought.”

Fire officers will return to the Horne Street area in conjunction with the Asian Development Association of Bury (ADAB) to carry out home safety checks.

Bury Borough Manager Pete Riley explained: “In Bury some families within the Asian community feel uncomfortable letting firefighters and community safety staff into their homes to give them advice on fire safety.

“So to combat this, GMFRS has been working with ADAB to develop ways in which we can deliver this vital safety advice to the Asian community.

“We are currently working with ADAB to train volunteers from the community who will be ambassadors for GMFRS who can engage with the Asian community in a way in which families feel comfortable, and helping to protect more families from fire in their homes.”