FIREFIGHTERS are encouraging people to test their smoke alarms after being called to two incidents in a matter of hours where they alerted residents to a fire.

They were called to Higher Lane, Whitefield, by a neighbour who heard a smoke alarm and discovered a ground-floor flat full of smoke at around 1.50am today.

When crew arrived they found a man fast asleep in his bed, while a pan of food was burning downstairs.

He was led to safety by two firefighters.

Crew Manager Dan Brown, of Whitefield Fire Station, said: "The resident had put some food on to cook and then fallen asleep and was unaware of the fire until firefighters woke him.

"It was fortunate that we had fitted the alarm about 10 months ago because it alerted the neighbour to the problem."

It came just hours after the same crew attended another incident where a smoke alarm alerted the household.

A family living in Willow Road, Prestwich, discovered an extractor fan in the bathroom was on fire and called fire crews at around 11.30pm on Monday.

Crew Manager Brown added: "Again it was an alarm that had been fitted by the fire service that alerted the family.

"A woman investigated and found flames coming from the extractor fan.

"She managed to put the fire out herself but it could have been more serious if they hadn't had that early warning.

"I hope it will encourage everyone to get a smoke alarm fitted and test it regularly to check it works."

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service carry out free home safety checks that can include fitting free smoke alarms.

Visit or call 0800 555 815 for more information.