A MAN was pulled to safety from his smoke-filled flat by firefighters during organised strike action.

Engines from St Mary’s and Eastleigh stations were rushed to the scene at Ventnor Court,

The fire crews were alerted after a smoke alarm went off, and arrived to find the flat full of smoke.

The door was unlocked and firefighters burst inside before pulling the man, thought to be in his 60s, out of the premises.

A Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “We literally pulled him out.

"We got there and the flat was full with smoke and he was on the settee, so we got in the flat quickly and pulled him out.”

The fire was caused by a cigarette and the man was taken to hospital after suffering from smoke inhalation.

The 12 firefighters used breathing apparatus, a hose reel jet and a fan to put out the flames and get the smoke out of the flat.

The fire crews left the scene at about 12.15am on Monday after making sure the scene was safe.

Firefighters are carrying out strike action in dispute over pensions, walking out for two hours at noon and one hour from 11pm daily until Saturday.

The Fire Brigade Union is locked in a row with the Government over pension changes, which it says will mean firefighters have to work longer and receive lower pensions when they do retire.