A man rescued from a fire yesterday is still fighting for his life after suffering extensive burns.

The 53-year-old was pulled from a ground-floor flat in Princes Road, Barkingside, at 8.40am.

He is described as being in a critical but stable condition after being air-lifted to Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel and is expected to be  transferred to a specialist burns unit.

Another man who lives in the flat is said to be away on holiday.

Neighbours described the victim, named locally Richard, as a friendly man.

Younes Deflaui, 43, said: "He is friendly and unassuming, always saying hello.

“We are all really worried as we are hearing he only has a 50/50 chance of survival.

"He has only just moved in to the flat within the last year, so not many people know him personally, but he is a really decent bloke."

Michael Jacques, 56, said: "He is a nice man who kept himself to himself, he didn’t really socialise but he is a quiet guy. It is shocking that this happened.

"I’m relieved to hear he is still alive because he looked in a really bad way. Hopefully we will hear some good news in the next few days."

The fire was put out by 9.48am.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but is believed to have been caused by an electrical fault.