A MAN suffered a suspected fractured ankle after falling down stairs during a house fire caused by an e-cigarette.

The e-cigarette was left unattended while it was on charge in a bedroom at the property in Torrington Avenue, Halliwell, at around 9.30pm last night.

It set fire to a mattress and clothing that had been left on the bed, as well as the bed frame.

There were eight people in the house at the time of the fire, all of whom were able to escape before firefighters arrived — apart from one 44-year-old man, who was injured when he fell down the stairs.

Firefighters rescued him from the house, searched the property for the cause of the fire, and extinguished the blaze.

Two crews from Bolton Central station and one from Bolton North were in attendance for an hour and 20 minutes.

Watch manager Lewis Cross issued a warning about the dangers of e-cigarettes.

He said: "They can be a danger if left unattended. It is also important that you buy them from an established retailer, rather than just from eBay."

He also urged anyone whose house is not fitted with a smoke alarm to book a free visit from the fire service by calling 0800 555 815.

A fire service spokesman added: "Fires in the home can be caused by faulty electrical appliances, plugs and cables that are old or poorly wired can be a real danger.

"Just because there's no flame, doesn't mean there's no fire risk. Find out what to check for to ensure your appliances don't put you or your family or housemates at risk from fire.

"If you had a fire in your home tonight, would you know what to do? Be prepared and have an escape plan - one day it could just save your life. Make sure you and those you live with know how to escape in the event of a fire."