A MAN was pulled to safety by a neighbour after a chip pan caught fire in his Atherton flat.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) were called at around 4.20am on Sunday when a fire broke out in a ground-floor flat on Bolton Road.

Crews from Atherton and Leigh fire stations arrived at the address and found that a man had already been pulled out of his flat by his neighbour.

Crew Manager Dave Morris, from Atherton, said: "We cannot praise the brave neighbour enough - if it wasn't for his quick actions the man, who we believe is in his forties, may not have been so lucky.

"The neighbour was from the flat above and smelled smoke, so he came down to see what was happening. When he realised there was a fire he kicked in the door and pulled his neighbour out of the property to safety.

"A GMFRS Trauma Technician gave first aid to the man who had the fire before paramedics took him to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation."

The fire started when a chip pan was switched on and left unattended and firefighters tackled it wearing breathing apparatus and using a hose reel.

GMFRS Director of Prevention and Protection Geoff Harris said: "Chip pans are incredibly dangerous and this man is lucky to be alive.

"If you have a chip pan replace it with a safer way of cooking like a thermostatically controlled deep fat fryer."