Man rescued from burning flat in South Shore by heroic neighbours

Crews were called out to the fire on  Bolton Street in South Shore
Crews were called out to the fire on Bolton Street in South Shore
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A man was rescued from his home in South Shore after he fell asleep holding a lit cigarette, say fire services.

Firefighters believe the cigarette fell and started a large blaze which quickly spread throughout the ground floor flat on Bolton Street at around 4.30am on Wednesday, December 20.

The man, who fire services think may have been drinking, managed to get to the doorway where he was found collapsed by a heroic neighbour who dragged him to safety.

Neighbour Richard Hook who lives and works at nearby New Brooklyn Hotel was alerted to the unfolding emergency by a whiff of smoke through an open window.

The 46 year-old said: "I'm a light sleeper and I could smell smoke so I dashed out. I got to the flat and could see smoke coming from the building.

"I made sure the alarm was raised with the fire brigade.

"I then saw a man lying in the doorway, so together with another man we lifted him up and dragged him to safety and tried to bring him round.

"The flat was burning, I could see bedding on fire and the whole lounge was gong-up.

"We could hear a dog barking from somewhere in the property, one of the man's other dogs had already got out.

"When the man came round he kept trying to get back into the flat to rescue his pets, so we had to hold him back.

"We got a fire extinguisher from the hotel and tried to tackle the fire, but it kept relighting. Thankfully the fire brigade turned up and took over.

"I was really shaken afterwards but my first instinct would always be to help. I think most people would have stepped-in in the same situation."

Mr Hook was helped by his colleague Simon Smith, 51, who helped to raise the alarm and assisted with extinguishing the fire.

He said: "We grabbed one of the fire extinguishers from the hotel. We could hear the dog in the background - it was horrible.

"I was trying to hold the chap back, he was desperately trying to get back in to save his animals but the fumes were just too strong."

Fire crews sent two engines from Blackpool and South Shore to the scene.

A spokesman for the fire service said: "We were called to an accidental fire where we believe somebody had been smoking under the influence of alcohol and fallen asleep on the sofa.

"The man was rescued by a neighbour who stopped the man from re-entering the property to save two dogs and a cat.

"We used breathing apparatus and a hose reel to extinguish the fire.

"The lounge was completely destroyed by fire - he won't be spending Christmas there."

The man, who is believed to be in his 20s was taken to hospital suffering with the effects of smoke inhalation.

All the animals were rescued from the property.