Neighbours of a flat destroyed by fire have described the dramatic rescue of a man who is now fighting for his life.

A 53-year-old was pulled unconscious from the home in Princes Road, Barkingside, at 8.40am yesterday.

He is described as being in a life-threatening condition with extensive burns and is also being treated for smoke inhalation at Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, where he was taken by air ambulance.

He is due to be transferred to a specialist burns unit shortly.

Another man living in the flat, on the ground floor of a semi-detached house, escaped unhurt.

People living nearby have described watching the drama unfold.

Barbara Vanning, 76, said: "There were loads of fire engines and police cars outside the house.

“It was a really dramatic scene. We were all watching from the window.

“The firefighters did a good job of putting the fire out and getting the man out of the flat - it was really brave."

Karen Bucktrout, 48, said her thoughts were with the two men, who she said she knew.
She added: "It is a shocking thing to happen. We hope they are ok.

“It was all over really quickly, but we saw him being pulled out and he looked in a really bad way."
Rita Hemer, 68, said: "It is a frightening thing to happen in this area.

“It is really sad and I hope the man recovers. From what I have heard he was really badly injured."
The fire was put out by 9.48am.