TWO men were taken to hospital suffering the effects of smoke after a fault in a fridge freezer started a fire in the early hours of today.

Fire crews were called to Crosby Road in Heaton at just before 4am The two men, aged 47 and 40 were treated with oxygen before being taken to hospital.

Firefighters said that the heat from the fire was so intense that it had started to melt the paint on the other side of the kitchen door, which was closed.

Watch Manager Isaac Olurankinse said: “There were no smoke alarms in the property and one of the men woke up and woke his friend up.

“They said they couldn’t breathe because of the smoke."

"The smoke was filling the bedroom upstairs."

He said a smoke alarm would have alerted the two to the incident sooner and prevented them from breathing in as much smoke as they did.

The kitchen was destroyed in the blaze.

Crews were on the scene for an hour.