A MAN who tried to tackle a fire in his flat on his own needed four hours oxygen treatment after suffering smoke inhalation.

Stephen 'jamesy' James has praised firefighters who quickly arrived on the scene after neighbours raised the alarm.

A total of six homes in the block of flats where the fire started were damaged in the incident in Wellington.

Mr James posted on Facebook: "Well thanks to Wellington Fire Brigade for your help this evening/afternoon after my cooker and kitchen (fire) after 4 hours on 100% oxygen.

"(It) was a silly move tackling and putting it out myself.

"Now home outcome obvious lucky smoke damaged kitchen and me.

"What doesn’t kill makes you stronger but Wellington fire service brilliant — feeling grateful."

Mr James managed to escape before three fire engines from Wellington and Taunton arrived at the incident in Wardleworth Way after a concerned member of the public rang in at 6pm yesterday (Thursday).

A Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: "A neighbour living in the block of flats reported smelling smoke and was concerned when there was no answer from the flat in question when they tried to knock on the door and raise the alarm.

"Crews from Wellington were on scene within minutes and confirmed that the male occupant was luckily able to self rescue but he was suffering from smoke inhalation.

"While four firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the property to locate the source of the smoke, other fire personnel looked after the occupant, administering oxygen therapy, until the ambulance crew arrived."

The fire was under control by 6.41pm.

The fire, which started accidentally and involved a toaster, was extinguished by removing the item out into the open.

The spokesperson added: "As the fire was located and extinguished quickly, the kitchen, flat and remaining flats in the building - six flats over two floors - sustained some damage.

"Other than the occupant of the flat concerned, there were no other casualties.