A MAN has thanked his neighbour who saved him after fire broke out in his kitchen.

Steven Wood, 59, was asleep on the sofa when the blaze started in the kitchen of his house in Brooklyn Road, Dovercourt.

Mr Wood said he had been cooking dinner and left a pan of food on the hob when he accidentally fell asleep in his living room.

He said: “I sat down and fell asleep.

“I woke up to the sounds of crackling and smell of smoke coming from the kitchen.

“My phone line wasn’t working when I was trying to call the fire service as I think it was damaged by the fire.”

Steven’s smoke alarm was not working either so it was not until a neighbour spotted smoke coming from a window that the alarm was raised at 6.51pm on Tuesday.

The former Cliff Hotel worker said: “My neighbour could see flames coming from my kitchen as I’d left the back door open.

“Then the neighbour called the fire brigade for me as the electricity was gone in my house.”

The neighbour then went into the house and helped take Steven outside to wait in safety while the fire service arrived.

Two fire crews arrived at the house and found the kitchen full of smoke.

The firefighters managed to quickly put out the blaze and stop it spreading.

Steven said: “The firefighters gave me oxygen as I suffered with smoke inhalation.

“When the ambulance arrived the paramedics checked my blood pressure and did an ECG test to check my heart.”

Steven said he had tried to replace his smoke alarm’s batteries just two days before the fire happened.

He said: The ceiling is high and the ladder was wobbling so I hadn’t managed to fit new batteries.

“As I have no cooker my neighbours are bringing me round dinner and I stayed at a neighbour’s house after the fire.

“I want to thank them for helping me and taking care of me.”

To book a free fire home safety visit see essex-fire.gov.uk.