A WINCHESTER man was rescued after his kitchen became engulfed in flames when his neighbour saw him clambering onto the roof.

The gentleman, only known as Phil, escaped his three-storey home at Waterworks Road in Otterbourne, via the dormer window, after a fire began in his kitchen.

It is believed the house quickly filled with smoke forcing him to flee via the top storey.

Luckily a neighbour, who asked not to be named, raised the alarm after witnessing the ordeal. His stepson, who works for Phil, soon tried to climb up to help him.

“He got out onto the roof and was calling for help,” the neighbour said. “My stepson ran over and then we called the fire brigade.

“You could see the flames and he was suffering from smoke inhalation. He left the window open after he climbed out of it and the smoke got out it started to affect his breathing.”

It is understood the man lives in the house with his wife and their three children.

The neighbour added: “They’re all on holiday at the moment so thankfully they weren’t at home too.”

Watch Manager Ben Allen, the officer in charge of the incident, said: “This man had a lucky escape. Cooking had been left unattended in the kitchen which then caught fire. Thankfully, he was alerted to the fire by a working smoke detector and was able to call for help. 

"We hope this incident acts as a reminder to members of the public that working smoke alarms really do save lives, and give you early warning to get help and call us out. We would also like to ask people to be extra careful when cooking and to never leave it unattended.”

A spokesman for South Central Ambulance Service said: “We were called at 11.36pm to reports of a house fire. We sent a hazardous area response team, one ambulance officer and crew. They assessed a gentleman who is believed to have had non-life threatening injuries and was taken to Southampton General Hospital.”

Fire fighters used six breathing apparatus, three jets and one hose reel jet to tackle the fire in the kitchen and were assisted by police and paramedics.

Four pumps in total were used - two from Eastleigh and two from Winchester. Approximately 25 fire fighters were sent out.

Watch manager Kevin Robson, of Winchester fire station, said crews from Eastleigh and Winchester were sent to tackle the blaze.

“We got the call at 11.37pm to reports of a man on the roof,” he said. “He climbed out the dormer window and fire fighters pitched a ladder and rescued him.

“Two hamsters were rescued as well.”