A MAN is being treated for severe burns after leaping from his first-floor bedsit to escape a fire.
The injured man jumped from the block in Hendon, after flames engulfed his bedsit.
He was discovered lying semi-conscious on grass outside the two-storey building in Deerness Road, and was given first aid by firefighters until paramedics arrived.
The man, who has not been named, was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital, where he is being treated for burns and severe smoke inhalation.
The bedsit was badly damaged in the fire, which broke out just before 3pm yesterday.
Watch manager Jeff Simpson, from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, was called to the blaze, along with crews from Sunderland East and Central fire stations.
He said: “We turned up and the fire was already out of the window and the occupant was lying on the ground.
“He had jumped from a first-floor window.
“We gave him first aid. We treated the casualty with oxygen and dressings while we were waiting for the ambulance.
“The ambulance turned up and the occupant of the flat was taken to hospital.
“The property was not fitted with a smoke alarm and we would recommend that everybody has a working smoke alarm, as they do save lives.”
Six firefighters wearing breathing apparatus had to force their way into five other flats in the block, to make sure no-one else was trapped by toxic smoke which had engulfed the building.
Luckily, they were all empty at the time, but a dog and a cat were rescued from two separate flats.
One of the injured man’s neighbours, who did not want to be named, said: “I’ve been out all day and when I came back the firefighters had had to kick the door in, because they didn’t know if I was in there.”
Fire service Group Manager Keith Trotter said: “There were no smoke alarms in the property where the fire started.
“However, luckily, smoke alarms which had been previously fitted by the Fire and Rescue Service in neighbouring properties were activated by the smoke.
“I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a working smoke alarm.
“It can give you the early warning to enable you to escape giving you a 95 per cent chance of survival.
“They really are a life saver. If you don’t have one, get one this Christmas and check it weekly. ”
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation, but is not thought to be suspicious.