Man rescued from burning flat

PUBLISHED: 12:35 05 December 2008 | UPDATED: 21:38 31 May 2010

A MAN suffering from smoke inhalation was rescued from his ground-floor flat after it caught fire early this morning (Friday December 5). Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus had to enter a heavily smoke-logged flat on Little Walden Road, Saffron Wald

A MAN suffering from smoke inhalation was rescued from his ground-floor flat after it caught fire early this morning (Friday December 5).

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus had to enter a heavily smoke-logged flat on Little Walden Road, Saffron Walden, and lead a man in his late 40s to safety.

Station officer at Saffron Walden Fire Station, Paul Curtis, said: "When we arrived there were some flames and a lot of smoke. Four firefighters entered the flat and found a man who was in a dazed state in the hallway. We took him outside, into the fresh air, and administered first aid.

"We believe the fire was started by a discarded cigarette which had set alight to a pile of newspapers on the table. The fire had spread quickly up the curtain, across the wall and then to the carpet. There was some fire damage to the property, but mainly it was smoke damage."

The patient had called the fire brigade from his mobile phone and the first of two crews to attend the incident arrived at 3.13am. The fire was extinguished by 3.50am.

An ambulance and rapid response unit were called, but the man was not taken to hospital.

This Christmas, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) are targeting men who are at greatest risk from fire in a new campaign.

"Single men, who drink and smoke and live alone, cause more fires than any other group of the community," said an ECFRS spokesman.

"Firefighters are called out regularly to scenarios where after enjoying a night out they return home and fall asleep while smoking in bed or feeling peckish they start to prepare a fry up, or more commonly chips, and then end up dozing off at the kitchen table leaving the pan alight."

The campaign is aimed at pubs, clubs and betting shops throughout the county and features posters with hard-hitting slogans such as "smoke and croak! Night out, last fag, last breath!".

For details about fire safety checks and fitting smoke alarms call 0845 601 2495.

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