THE man rescued from a burning building in Winchester has praised firefighters for saving his life.

Alex Mutulescu was plucked from the balcony of his flat in Jewry Street as a blaze took hold and then destroyed part of the De Lunn building in which he lived with his girlfriend Maria Dicv.

As reported yesterday, the 24-year-old Romanian faced having to jump from the second floor as he cowered on a balcony as smoke billowed around him.

Fire investigation teams were today working at the scene to try and establish the cause of the fire – which is not being treated as suspicious.

Mr Mutulescu and Ms Dicv have since stayed at their friend’s flat, who is currently on holiday in Dubai, while they look for somewhere to live.

Thanking the fire crews who helped him to safety Alex said: “They saved my life.

“I was thinking when I was hanging there to find a way to jump down, but it was a bit high and I was afraid to jump.

“I saw everybody below me.

“My friends were saying come down. I couldn’t get back to my flat, I couldn’t even see inside because it was full of smoke.

“I am all right now, I am just happy because nothing happened to me.”