A MAN was rescued from a flat after a kitchen fire.

Firefighters were called to Elmstead Road, Colchester, after people in nearby homes heard a smoke alarm sounding at a flat.

Crews went to the property on the third floor at 9.30am on Friday and found a fire had started in the kitchen after food had been left in the oven.

They rescued a man who was asleep in another room and gave him oxygen therapy -he was left with paramedics.

Watch manager Richard Lark from Colchester Fire Station said: “Thankfully this man had working smoke alarms that alerted his neighbours.

"I’d like to praise the neighbours for acting quickly when hearing smoke alarms going off and calling us, they helped to save their neighbour’s life.

"If you hear someone’s smoke alarms going off, always call 999, even if you think others might have done so already.

“Never leave cooking unattended and don’t cook when you’re tired.”

More than half of accidental fires at home are started by cooking with firefighters urging people to never leave food on the hob, keep matches and saucepans out the way of fire, ensure loose clothing and towels are not exposed to flames and make sure the oven is turned off when you have finished.

If you do not have a smoke alarm visit essex-fire.gov.uk/book for a free home safety visit.