Unconscious man rescued after fire engulfs his house in Leicester
Firefighters rescued an unconscious man from his blazing home.
The alarm was raised shortly before 7pm on Wednesday when neighbours saw flames engulfing the front door of the two-bedroom terrace, in Cedar Road, Highfields, Leicester.
Fire crews wearing breathing apparatus found the man unconscious on the first floor.
They brought him out and revived him using oxygen before an ambulance crew took him to hospital.
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Nobody else was injured in the fire, which severely damaged the ground floor.
Police and fire service investigators yesterday sifted through the debris from the blaze searching for a cause.
It is believed to have been started deliberately.
The ground floor of the Victorian cottage was filled with newspapers, books, plastic and other materials.
Some of it had to be dragged into the street as firefighters brought the blaze under control.
Neighbour Kenneth Cooper said: "When I came home, the fire services were bringing him out and giving him treatment. He did not look good.
"They managed to prevent the fire from spreading but my home is full of smoke.
"It was like a pea-souper. I can't imagine what it was like next door."
Mr Cooper, 70, said of his neighbour: "He lives on his own and has always been a collector of items. He can't use the downstairs because it is full of stuff. I have been waiting for something like this to happen.
"He keeps himself to himself and does not talk to people."
Nasim Patel, who lives opposite, said: "I saw flames rising up the front door and there was a lot of smoke and somebody called the fire service."
Another resident said: "There was smoke pouring from the front of the house and we saw the firemen bring an elderly gentlemen out of the house just before 7.30pm.
"Police sealed the road off and only the people who live in the houses was allowed through."
Mahdi Mohammed, 27, who lives in Myrtle Road, said: "Our homes back onto where the fire was. There was a lot of smoke but the fire brigade arrived quickly and put the fire out."
A police spokesperson said: "The cause of the fire is being investigated but it is not suspicious.
"The injured man does not want his condition disclosed."
Oadby and Wigston Station Manager Mark Speight, the investigating officer, said: "I have carried out an inspection of the scene to establish the cause of the fire and establish its point of origin.
"I have concluded that the fire was started deliberately but the incident is not being treated as arson."