AN elderly man was lucky to escape when his detached cottage caught fire.

It is believed the man was asleep when his house went up in flames in Binsey, but he was rescued by neighbours. 

Two fire engines were called to the village at 7pm on Friday and were met by a fire in the ground floor of the cottage.

The man had escaped the house and was being cared for by neighbours.

The fire service said the man was fortunate to have got out in time and warned it could have been much worse.

Incident commander, Justin Kamphuis, said: "This incident could have been much worse, the resident appears to have been asleep when the fire started and luckily managed to get out of his property just in time.

"If the property had been equipped with working smoke alarms the gentleman would have been able to escape much more swiftly and safely.”

It is believed the fire was started accidentally.