Minutes from death

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A MAN was just minutes from death when he was dragged unconscious from his burning Wigan flat, it was claimed today.

The blaze victim was rescued by firefighters from the smoke-logged home in Beaumont Grove, Orrell, after it is thought he fell asleep while cooking at about 1am on Thursday.

Emergency services at the scene of the fire

Emergency services at the scene of the fire

The resident’s “lifeless” body being dragged from the building by firefighters who then began trying to resuscitate him.

A witness, who asked not to be named, said: “I was woken up by the fire engines coming round the corner.

“I went outside and watched as they brought his lifeless body out of the flat. They were trying to resuscitate him for about 10 minutes.

“They took him off to the ambulance and I saw him come back in a taxi later that day, so he must be OK now.

She is the real hero because two more minutes and he would have been dead. People should be aware of the dangers chip pans can pose

“There were three fire engines and about five police cars here at one point. I think they police were in case the other flats had to be evacuated.”

The damage to the flat is unknown at this point but it is thought that the home was heavily smoke logged when the fire crews arrived.

“Thankfully the lady upstairs happened to look out of her window and saw the fire before calling the fire service,” said the witness.

“She is the real hero because two more minutes and he would have been dead. People should be aware of the dangers chip pans can pose.”

The burnt chip pan where the firefighters left it

The burnt chip pan where the firefighters left it

“The fire engines arrived about two minutes after she called. I must commend the fire service for how quickly they responded.”

The woman who called the fire service said she just happened to go to the window to open the blinds slightly before she went to bed.

She said: “I am usually in bed by then but I went to open the blinds and then checked to see if my neighbour’s cat was about.

“I could see the man across the courtyard was cooking something and I thought it was a weird time to be cooking.

“And then all of a sudden the lights in the flat went out and I could see the fire. I called the fire service and they were here within minutes.”

Two engines from Wigan and one from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service attended the scene and remained there for about an hour.

A spokesman confirmed that the fire was caused by a pan of food on a cooker and they had rescued a man and given him first aid before he was taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.

Greater Manchester Police confirmed that they had attended in case the flats needed to be evacuated but had played no further role.