Firefighters got the 44-year-old out of the building in Leigh and gave him oxygen therapy before he was treated by paramedics for smoke inhalation.
Emergency crews were called to the flats on Sidlow Common at around 5.10am on Saturday December 3.
They found a bin ablaze in a compound next to the building, with the flames reaching as far as the external doors and the ground and first floors both filled with thick black smoke.
Crews wearing breathing apparatus put the fire out before it spread any further and a specially-trained rescue team searched the building for anyone who needed help.
Only one man, who was given medical attention at the scene, was found requiring assistance.
Firefighters then used a large fan to draw all the acrid smoke out of the building.
A Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) spokesman said: “It was a fairly easy fire to put out, it was just the smoke that was a problem.
“It can cause lots of damage so it was about getting people out.”
Crews from Leigh, Atherton and Hindley fire stations, along with a technical response unit from Leigh, attended the incident and were there for around 90 minutes.
The North West Ambulance Service (GMFRS) was also called to the scene and Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has been informed of the incident.