EVEN when smoke filled her burning bedroom, teenager Mandy Walker remembered the fire safety lesson she had been taught at school.

She gained herself a few extra seconds until rescue came by calmly dropping to the floor where the air was clear - just as visiting firefighters had instructed her class.

Mandy, 13, was asleep in her bedroom at Newlands View, Crook, County Durham, when an electrical fault started a blaze in her stereo.

She woke up choking on acrid smoke, but managed to get to the window to take a gulp of fresh air.

She said: "I couldn't breathe. It was horrible. I remembered what I had been told and crawled on the floor until my dad pulled me out.

"I wouldn't have been here if I hadn't been told what to do. It saved my life.

"There is nothing left of my bedroom. It has all gone, but at least I am alive."

Mandy, who learned her lifesaving lesson at Parkside Comprehensive School, Willington, is sending a thank-you letter to the crews at Crook fire station.

Her father, Alan Powers, said: "She was really lucky. Her bedroom is completely gutted but it doesn't matter as long as we still have Mandy."

Station Officer David Turnbull, from County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue, praised Mandy's actions.

He said: "She did everything right. She stayed calm and got down below the smoke, which always rises to the top of the room.