A WOMAN has recalled the frightening moment she woke up to fire crews smashing through the door of her neighbour’s burning home to save his life.

The fire broke out in Bockingham Green, Basildon, in the middle of the night after a man fell asleep while cooking a pizza.

The woman, who asked not to be named, lives in one of the flats behind the man’s home.

She said: “It was really dramatic.

“The firemen came in and smashed open the bottom part of the door after they were calling for the man through the door.

“They got in through the hole and managed to get him and the dog out of the house.

“The alarm was going off for ages.

“His neighbours who live above him were the ones who called the fire brigade to save him.”

A fire crew from Rayleigh Weir and two from Basildon attended and managed to rescue the man.

Paramedics were also called and an ambulance took the man to Basildon Hospital after he was rescued.

The fire was contained to just the man’s flat, however, it is heavily smoke damaged and thought to be uninhabitable.

His neighbours, who are close friends of the man cared for his dog while he was treated by paramedics.

Neighbours reported the same thing happened in the same flat about five years ago involving a chip pan.

Fortunately, following that incident, Basildon Council upgraded fire protection measures.

The neighbour explained a new water sprinkler system and new cladding was installed to help stop the spread of fires in the estate.

She said: “The safety measures are in place and the cladding they have put up has certainly helped keep the estate safe.

“Luckily enough, we were not here when that happened but when we returned from our holiday, our home was destroyed.

“I am thankful those measures have been put in place.”

Speaking about the incident, Howard Midwood, Essex Fire watch manager. said:

“The resident was very lucky in the fact their neighbour heard the smoke alarm and called us immediately, meaning we were able to rescue him and stop the fire escalating.”