Smoke alarms saved the lives of an Instow couple after an intense kitchen blaze early this morning (Thursday) . The fire service said the pair were able to escape through an upstairs window when their smoke detectors alerted them to the fire at their house in Lane End Close at 3.55am. Neighbours helped them to safety after they climbed onto a lean-to roof below a bedroom window. They were both suffering from smoke inhalation and were treated by paramedics. On arrival, fire crews from Bideford and Barnstaple discovered the kitchen fire had spread to the first floor. Group manager Jeff Harding of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, said: This was the most intense fire Ive seen for some time and it was fortunate this couple had working smoke alarms and an alternative escape route as their internal stairs were cut off by the smoke. The fire had burnt through the ceiling into the upper floor and the fire crews did an excellent job to save most of the property from fire. The kitchen was severely damaged by the fire and the remainder of the property was damaged by the smoke. The fire is believed to have started in an electrical appliance. To request a free home fire safety check, call the fire service on 0800 05 02 999.Click here to return to our homepage for more North Devon news.