A MAN is fighting for life after a flat fire.

Neighbours alerted firefighters after hearing a smoke detector sound in the second-floor flat in the former Machells Mill on Whitehall Way in the centre of Dewsbury at 10.50pm on Thursday.

Fire crews had to break their way in and found a man in his early 60s collapsed in the living room which was full of smoke.

There was also a fire in the room.

The man was carried outside and given first aid. Paramedics then took him to Dewsbury District Hospital.

The man was conscious by the time he arrived there.

He had suffered severely from burns and breathing in smoke and is in the intensive care unit.

The fire is believed to have begun in the living room and the entire flat is badly smoke-damaged.

Crew Manager Ian Jowett, from Dewsbury fire station, said: “We think the fire may have been burning for up to 20 minutes before neighbours heard the smoke detector.

“The man’s immediate neighbours were out and it was people living further down the corridor who heard the sound and called 999.

“The flat will need renovating before it is habitable again.’’

Fire investigation experts were due to go to the flat today to try to pinpoint the cause of the blaze .

At this point the fire is not thought to be suspicious.