A MAN escaped from his house after a fire in his living room.
The 31-year-old, who had been sleeping in his bedroom, was met by a wall of smoke when he opened the door to his blazing front room.
He was able to get out of the house by climbing out of an upstairs window and then dropped on to the flat kitchen roof below.
The householder was taken to North Tees Hospital for a check-up, but is not thought to have been seriously hurt.
Firefighters, who were called to the property at 10.45pm yesterday, had to smash down the locked front door to get into the terrace house. Two officers wearing breathing apparatus were sent in to fight the blaze.
The living room was left badly damaged and other areas of the house affected by smoke, with fans used to clear rooms of fumes.
The cause of the fire is not known, but is being investigated by the fire service and police.
The scene was due to be examined this morning.
Firefighters say the smoke alarms in the property had been taken down.
Anyone who would like a home fire safety check can call the fire service on 332 4222.