A SMOKER was rescued from a fire after his neighbour raised the alarm.

Firefighters found the man, whose duvet had set on fire when he fell asleep while smoking, in his flat in Mere Gardens, off Gaskell Street, Brownlow Fold.

He had woken and tried to put out the fire by flinging the duvet into the bath. A crew from Bolton Central station arrived just in time and led him safely.

A woman who lived nearby called the fire station directly at about 2.40am yesterday when she heard a smoke alarm going off.

Watch manager at Bolton Central, Karsten Boyle, said two fire engines were dispatched and when they arrived, the crew found a smoke alarm going off in the building and located the source.

Mr Boyle said: “The neighbour couldn’t get the door open so we forced entry and let the occupant out.

“He had fallen asleep on the settee while smoking and it set a duvet alight. The smoke alarm must have woken him up.

“He attempted to douse the duvet in the bath. The duvet was still alight when we arrived. The flat wasn’t on fire but was badly smoke damaged from moving the burning material from one room to another. The whole flat was smoke logged.”

After firefighters led the man out of the flat, he was given oxygen for the effects of smoke inhalation.

The ambulance service took him to the hospital for checks.

The fire service is hoping that the incident will highlight the importance of having working smoke alarms. Mr Boyle said: “If it wasn’t for the smoke alarm we don’t know what would have happened. It does show how important they are.”

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue service provides free visits to assess potential fire risks in the home and give out personal fire safety advice. They will carry out a room-by-room check and help put together an escape plan in case a fire breaks out in the future.

If you do not have a working smoke alarm on each floor of your property, the fire service may provide one free of charge during the check.

To book a free visit call 0800 555 815. For more information go to manchesterfire.gov.uk/fire_safety_advice