A HARTLEPOOL man had to be dragged out of his smoke-filled home by police who were alerted by a 999 call from a quick-thinking neighbour.
Police, paramedics and three fire crews were called to the terraced house in High Street, Greatham at about 6pm today after food left on the hob led to a fire in the kitchen and smoke billowing through the property.
Police broke down the door of the house in order to rescue the man, who had suffered a fall while trying to make his exit.
Three fire crews - two from Hartlepool’s Stranton fire station and one from Billingham - then used ventilation equipment to clear the smoke.
The occupant, believed to be in his late 60s, was given oxygen treatment by paramedics at the scene before being taken to hospital for a check-up.
Andy Hardy, Watch Commander at Stranton fire station, said: “A neighbour had seen smoke coming out of the house and called the emergency services.
“They had heard him fall in the house also, as they are in the adjoining property.
“The police broke down the door and dragged him out of the property.
“He was given oxygen by paramedics before being taken to hospital.
“We used breathing apparatus to access the house and then ventilated it.
“It seems that a hob had been on, which had led the house to be filled with smoke.
“He had a smoke alarm but we have now fitted two new ones for him.”