An elderly man from Sheffield is recovering today from Christmas spent in hospital after being rescued from his burning home by police officers.
The pensioner - named by neighbours as 98-year-old World War Two veteran Leonard Clarke - was pulled from his semi-detached house on Adlington Road, Southey Green.
Firefighters were taking strike action across South Yorkshire as the blaze took hold, but crews still mobilised from their strike base at Endcliffe Vale.
However police arrived first, and smashed a downstairs window to get in to the burning house.
They found Leonard, a Navy man in the war, on the first floor of his home.
Flames had taken hold in the living room - and an investigation has already found the fire started from an electrical fault around the television plug socket, at around 7.15pm on Christmas Eve.
Next door neighbour Derrick Cooper, aged 80, was watching TV when he heard a loud bang from Leonard’s home.
“All of a sudden we heard this bang, and he lives on his own and he’s in a wheelchair, so I went out to look,” he said.
“I could see the front window was glowing, and I could see flames downstairs all over, so I rang 999 straightaway.
“Emergency services were here in no time, and they smashed the front window and went straight in and fetched him out and put him in an ambulance. They were all here quick, fire, police and ambulance.”
He added: “I’ve just been talking to his daughter and she said he’s in hospital and they’ve got him on oxygen but he’s going to be alright.”
Police confirmed Mr Clarke was rushed to the Northern General Hospital, where he was reported to be conscious and breathing upon arrival.
It is believed he suffered the effects of breathing in smoke, but had no physical injuries.
Firefighters put out the fire, which was contained to the living room, and ventilated the property.
n In Manor Top, Sheffield, a family had an unexpectedly early start to Christmas Day when their carbon monoxide detector started sounding at 6.30am.
The two adults and two children got out of their home on Ridgeway Road and called fire crews from Central station.
A gas engineer was due to attend to investigate the cause of the alarm.
n Meanwhile in Rotherham on Christmas Day morning a man was arrested after a blaze in a car followed by a fire in a nearby house.
Fire crews were called to Oak Lea in Greasbrough, initially to reports of a bin ablaze. When they arrived they found the fire was in a Nissan Micra parked on the road, thought to have been set on fire deliberately.
As crews fought the flames they spotted a second fire - flames downstairs in a terraced house on nearby Briery Walk - and when police arrived a man began pelting them with objects from the property.
A man in his 30s was later taken from the upstairs of the burning house, and was still in police custody yesterday.