A couple who live next door to the house in Bolton, who did not wish to be named, said they were woken by an explosion, which apparently came from the kitchen area of the property. They then saw smoke fill the building.
Stuart Whittle, who lives opposite, said he arrived home in the early hours to a fog of smoke.
He said: "As I got closer I could see fire engines and police cars. I didn't think anyone was in the house."
Another close neighbour, Maria Taylor, 48, said she was woken by the sound of fire engines and then heard smashing glass as firefighters broke in to gain access to the property.
A house fire which killed three people in Bolton is being treated as suspicious, Greater Manchester Police said.
A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said that just before 2.20am, police were called by the fire service following a blaze at a house on Albert Road West, Heaton, Bolton.
A woman was taken to hospital but died a short time later of burns.
Following a search of the house, a further two bodies were discovered.
The flames have since been extinguished.
A joint investigation has now been launched A spokeswoman for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said three fire crews were sent to the scene of the blaze at the semi-detached house following a call at 2.03am.
The fire was put out but its cause is not yet known, she added.to establish how the fire started and identify the bodies.
A spokeswoman for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said three fire crews were sent to the scene of the blaze at the semi-detached house following a call at 2.03am.
The fire was put out but its cause is not yet known, she added.
An inquiry has been launched after three people died in a house fire.
Two bodies were recovered from the address in Heaton, Bolton, while a woman was taken to hospital but died a short time later from burns.
A joint investigation by Greater Manchester Police and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service has been launched to find the cause of the blaze early today.
Greater Manchester Police have arrested three more men in connection with the multiple rape and sexual assault of a teenager from Bolton. In a statement police said:
Officers investigating allegations that a 15-year-old girl from Bolton was the victim of numerous sexual assaults and rapes have made a number of additional arrests.
Three men aged 21, 34 and 45 were arrested on suspicion of rape and a 24-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of child abduction.
Today's arrests mean that a total of nine men have been arrested in connection with the allegations.
Five men who were arrested earlier over the alleged rape of a 15-year-old girl have all been bailed until 15 January 2014.
The arrests came as part of a police operation in Bolton that targeted suspected child sexual exploitation.
The men were arrested during raids at addresses in Bolton on suspicion of subjecting the teenager to repeated sexual assaults between July 2011 and September 2012.
The five suspects arrested over the alleged rape of a 15-year-old girl are understood to be of various ethnicities.
Detective Inspector Simon Davies, of Greater Manchester Police's Serious Sexual Offences Unit, said:
This is the result of a complex and detailed investigation that has been running for several months into allegations of serious sexual assaults committed against a young girl.
There are other people we are actively seeking to speak to as part of this investigation and there may be further arrests in future.
For those reasons, we are unable to go into any more detail about the status of the investigation.
Specially trained staff are continuing to support the victim throughout what is clearly a very traumatic time for her.
Five men have been arrested over the alleged rape of a 15-year-old girl.
They were held in raids at addresses in Bolton on suspicion of subjecting the teenager to repeated sexual assaults between July 2011 and September 2012.
All five remain in custody for questioning on suspicion of rape and conspiracy to commit rape.
An 87 year old man has died weeks after being attacked in his home in Bolton. Frank Worsley was robbed and beaten when he was woken up by an intruder on Longfield Road just after midnight on Saturday 3 August.
Frank was admitted to hospital after suffering a stroke and a bleed to his brain, but died there yesterday afternoon.
A Home Office post-mortem examination is due to take place today, 21 August 2013, to determine the cause of Frank's death.
A schoolboy is fighting for his life in hospital after a major car crash in Bolton that injured a dozen people.
The 12-year-old is in a critical condition, while a 50-year-old man was also hospitalised when a vehicle ploughed into a pavement.
Police said they believe the two cars involved were racing each other when they collided.
Sergeant Danny Byrne from Greater MP’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “One young boy has been left seriously hurt and we have officers with his family.
“The fact they are waiting to hear whether their beloved 12-year-old boy will survive reflects the absolute appalling consequences of driving in such a reckless manner."