A pensioner has thanked two 11-year-old boys credited with saving his life after fire struck at his home, hailing them as “magic”.

Eddie Telfer, 83, was relaxing in his chair, unaware that flames had started to engulf part of his house, before the boys raised the alarm by knocking on his door - then helping him to safety.

Cian Fakes and Cohen French had been on their way to cricket practice when they spotted the dangers in Lowmoor Road, Wigton, just before 8pm last Thursday.

Flames had gripped Mr Telfer’s garden fence and shed, before spreading and setting his home alight.

After getting him away from immediate danger, the boys - who will receive special recognition for their heroics today - then used one of their mobile phones to summon emergency services.

Overwhelmed, Mr Telfer said: “I was just sitting in the chair when I heard a bang, bang, bang on the door and there were two little 11-years-old boys.

“They asked if I had a fire. I thought they were taking the mick at first. I went outside to have a look.

“I’m not joking, I have never seen anything like it.

“The flames were flaming up and the thick black smoke. Like tyre smoke, they was everywhere.

“If the boys hadn’t of come I would have suffocated. This house was full of smoke.”

Cohen said: “We thought there might be a problem so thought we would go and see if we could help.”

Mr Telfer, a retired factory worker, has not, so far, had the best of years.

After saving for years, he planned a trip of a lifetime and made his way to Australia. But while there, he fell ill and ended up having to undergo heart surgery.

Still, in recovery, he said: “Everything has gone wrong this year.”

But, praising his rescuers, he added: “These boys are fantastic.

“They’re just magic. They have been up to visit since, to make sure I’m ok.”

“The first thing the firefighters did was make sure I was safe, someone brought me a blanket.

“I felt old, and I don’t feel old. I normally feel about 25.

“Every one of the firefighters were perfect . They were absolutely brilliant.”

Thankful for the help he has had Mr Telfer, is pleased the youngsters are being rewarded for their bravery.

And he has tried to stay in good spirits, joking with firefighters on the night that they should wipe their feet on the way out so not to mess up the street.

Police and two fire crews - one from Wigton, another from Aspatria - rushed to the scene and immediately set about tackling the fire.

The fire took hold of the bushes, trees, fencing and the shed, it then spread to the garage, roof and the loft space of the bungalow.

Mr Telfer has been assessing the damage, but added: “It could have been much worse. Nobody was hurt and that is the most important part.”

It took firefighters more than three-and-a-half hours to bring the extensive blaze under control.

The heroic duo will be honoured for their braver today with Thomlinson Junior School hosting an assembly to celebrate their heroic attitude and community spirit. he firefighters and the police are expected to attend, along with Mr Telfer.

Cian and Cohen will receive a community hero award in recognition of their actions.