AMAN has been left homeless after a fire caused by his hair straighteners destroyed his flat.

Kirk Kavenagh, 26, left the appliance on in his bedroom while he played on his games console in the lounge next door.

The straighteners overheated, burst into flames and set off the alarm in the one-bedroom flat, in Berkley Close, Highwoods, Colchester.

Mr Kavenagh sustained burns to his arms after re-entering the flat to try to rescue his pets.

He said: “When I opened the bedroom door, the fire was there, over the ceiling, everywhere.

“I ran out of the flat, then I realised my two cats were stuck in there. I could hear one of them, Archimedes, stuck in the kitchen. The smoke was thick black.

“I went to my neighbour’s to get a bag to put over my head and held my breath. I went in and saved Archimedes.

“He was in the kitchen shaking like a leaf.

“Where the artex was melting from the ceiling, it was dropping on my arm, so I have got several scolds and burns onmy arms and I don’t knowwhere the other cat, Mistley, is.

“She isn’t here. Hopefully, she darted out.”

Mr Kavenagh said before the fire started, at about 4am yesterday, he had been talking to his mum on the phone and put his hair straighteners on as he thought she was going to call round to see him.

He put the straighteners on and shut his bedroom door before going into the lounge to play on his X-Box.

Two fire engines, an ambulance, ambulance car, ambulance officer and police attended the scene. Fire crews had the fire out by 4.30am.

Mr Kavenagh was treated for his burns and also for smoke inhalation at Colchester General Hospital and returned home about 9am yesterday.

He is in the process of trying to arrange temporary accommodation.