FIREFIGHTERS have said a man is lucky to be alive after a fire tore through a takeaway.
Police leaving Cosham station spotted smoke coming from the closed Urmi Balti House in Northern Road and raised the alarm.
Crews from the fire station rushed to the rear of the building and used a ladder to rescue the 41-year-old who was sleeping in a first floor bedroom.
Ryan Matthews, crew manager, said the man, understood to be a restaurant worker, was lucky.
He said: ‘He was literally above the fire, he was a very lucky man.
‘Had he not woken up or police not found it, it would have undoubtedly been a lot worse.’
He added: ‘Fortunately he was okay, he had suffered with slight smoke inhalation but other than that and being shaken up he was okay.’
But he has warned there was no smoke alarm inside the flat.
He said: ‘Had he had smoke alarms he would have been aware of the fire earlier and would have the opportunity to exit the building at an earlier stage.
‘That reiterates the importance of people having smoke alarms.’
Police officers had first noticed smoke and rushed to find the blaze at the rear of the property, raising the alarm with firefighters.
The blaze started from a deep-fat fryer and was contained in the kitchen.
Smoke billowed throughout the building.
Neale Gordon, landlord, said the takeaway had been due to re-open but would now be delayed.
He said: ‘The damage is quite severe inside in terms of smoke damage and melted uPVC windows but the fabric of the building has survived.
‘It could have been a lot worse.
‘I’ve spoken to the guy who was sleeping there overnight, he was rescued out through the window at that point it was potentially quite dangerous.
‘The figure brigade have done a good job and got it out fairly quickly.’
Firefighters used breathing apparatus to enter the building and put out the blaze at 3am.
Picture: Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service