A MAN in his 60s was rescued from a blaze by firefighters who found he did not have a smoke alarm fitted in his home near Wallingford.

Firefighters were alerted to a bedroom fire at the house in West End Street, Cholsey, at 10.30pm on Friday.

Firefighters from Wallingford, Goring and Didcot attended and discovered the first floor engulfed in flames.

The blaze, which started in a bedroom, was spreading into the roof space of the detached house.

The owner suffered from the effects of breathing in smoke and was treated by paramedics.

Firefighters said no smoke alarms were fitted and it was only when the man smelt smoke that he discovered the fire, which had already developed.

The cause of the blaze is not known at this stage, and fire investigators have begun an inquiry.

Incident commander Bob Speakman said: “The outcome of this incident could have been far worse, but the lack of smoke alarms allowed this fire to develop and cause a substantial amount of damage.

“The occupier was fortunate he was awake at the time the fire started and was able to escape in time.

“I cannot stress enough the importance of working smoke alarms – they save lives.”

He said everyone should have a working smoke alarm on each level of their house and they should be tested regularly.