The actions of a quick-thinking workman was praised by fire chiefs for preventing a house he was working on from going up in flames.
The roofer used a garden hose to dowse the flames and prevent the fire from spreading after it broke out in the roof space of a property in Valley Drive, West Park, Hartlepool.
Click here to see a video of the damage
He also got the elderly woman who lives there safely out of the house until the emergency services arrived.
At its height, a dozen firefighters fought to bring the blaze under control.
It happened just after 11am yesterday and three fire engines from across the region and an ambulance was deployed to the incident.
The fire is believed to have started accidentally while the workman, who suffered a burn to his hand, carried out work to the outside of the house.
His quick actions probably stopped the total destruction of the houseAlan Turner, fire brigade watch manager
Billingham Fire Station watch manager Alan Turner said: “The fire started from where the workman was working and spread to the roof void.
“His quick actions probably stopped the total destruction of the house. He applied water very quickly using a garden hose and I have no doubt he helped in containing the fire as best he could.
“He also evacuated the occupant from the house. He did everything correctly.”
The fire was still raging in the roof when the brigade arrived.
Watch manager Turner added: “On our arrival the fire was going well. There was a significant fire inside the roof void.
“It took us about 15 minutes to bring it under control and about 30 minutes to extinguish it.
“The householder is fine and the workman had a slight burn to one of his hands. There is substantial structural damage to the roof area of the house.”
He said the incident highlighted the importance for anyone working with naked flames to be extra vigilant.
A fire engine with a hydraulic platform was called for but in the end it was not needed.