FIREFIGHTERS are warning people of the dangers of chip pans after a man was rescued by his neighbour when a blaze broke out in the early hours.

The fire service was called to a ground floor flat on Bolton Road, Atherton, at around 4.20am when a chip pan caught alight.

Crews arrived and found that a man had already been pulled out of his flat to by his neighbour.

Crew Manager Dave Morris, from Atherton said: "We cannot praise the brave neighbour enough — if it wasn't for his quick actions the man, who we believe is in his forties, may not have been so lucky.

"The neighbour was from the flat above and smelled smoke, so he came down to see what was happening. When he realised there was a fire he kicked in the door and pulled his neighbour out of the property to safety.

"A GMFRS Trauma Technician gave first aid to the man who had the fire before paramedics took him to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation."

The fire started when a chip pan was switched on and left unattended.

Chairman of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, Cllr David Acton said: "Chip pans are incredibly dangerous and this man is lucky to be alive.

"If you have a chip pan replace it with a safer way of cooking like a thermostatically controlled deep fat fryer."

For a free Home Safety Check, which may include the fitting of smoke alarms, ring 0800 555 815.