Man ‘just a minute from being killed’

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A MAN who was rescued from a burning house by firefighters cheated death by one minute.

The 33-year-old was found unconscious when emergency services arrived at the fire at Hampton Grove, Higher Fold in Leigh on Sunday.

He was in a serious condition and treated by paramedics at the scene and his condition improved in hospital overnight.

Fire chiefs later said if he had been left in the house just one minute longer he would not have survived.

Chairman of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority (GMFRS), Coun David Acton, said: “This man had an extremely lucky escape and it’s thanks to the speedy response of our firefighters, the work of paramedics and ultimately the fact that he had a working smoke alarm that he will recover.

“It’s so easy to get distracted when cooking but as we have seen, distraction can lead to devastating consequences so I would urge people to stand by their pans at all times.”

The house had filled with smoke after a pan of food was left unattended on a cooker and a smoke detector raised the alarm.

Crews from Hindley, Atherton and Leigh are due to return to the area to give advice and offer Home Safety Checks to residents.

Watch Manager Mick Callan, from Leigh Fire Station, said: “We were called to reports of smoke coming from a house and when we arrived we were told there might be a child inside. Crews in breathing apparatus had to break through one of the windows to open the door and gain access and firefighters started to search the house.

“They found a 33-year-old man unconscious on the landing and brought him out then continued to search the house for the child, but we then found out the child was actually staying somewhere else that night.

“The man was unconscious and in a bad way when he was rescued but paramedics gave him lots of oxygen and he started to improve.

“The paramedics said that if he’d been in the house a minute longer we could have been dealing with a fatality.”

Crews used a fan to clear the smoke and hose reel on the pan of food, although the fire had burnt itself out.