A Brechin father-of-two is fighting for his life after being rescued from his burning flat by firefighters.
The man – named locally as 51-year-old Ian ‘Graham’ Stewart – was plucked from his ground floor flat by firefighters in full breathing apparatus and placed into one of two waiting ambulances where paramedics worked to keep him alive.
After 40 minutes Mr Stewart’s family were told “he had a pulse” and the man was rushed to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, where he is believed to still be in a serious condition.
Four fire engines, two ambulances and several police vehicles attended the blaze in the town’s River Street, which started shortly after 4pm on Friday.
A small crowd gathered as firefighters used two hose reels to extinguish the fire which gutted the ground floor flat and left the street smelling strongly of smoke.
The windows of the flat were smashed during the rescue and a police van remained at the scene on Friday night to secure the property.
It is not yet known how the fire started.
A neighbour told the Courier: “It all happened so fast. I was standing in the kitchen and I could smell the smoke coming in through the door. I knew then it had to be a fire.”
He said the fire brigade rescued Mr Stewart from the burning building before extinguishing the flames.
“The firefighters were amazing,” he added.
Mr Stewart had lived in the Brechin property for around 10 years.
Another neighbour said she knew Mr Stewart by sight and would see him on the local bus.
“The funny thing was I went up the road to the supermarket and when I came back 20 minutes or so later, more or less, there were the fire engines and the police were there too. It was all very quick.”
Drinkers in the Bridgend Bar, only 100 metres or so from the fire, said they hadn’t seen the rescue, but had gathered in the pub to find out more about what had happened. They said that Mr Stewart was well known in the local area.
A spokesperson for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said: “A call was received at 16:10. Four appliances attended. Two breathing apparatuses were deployed and two hose reels.
“One male occupant of a ground floor flat was rescued by firefighters and he was handed over to the care of the ambulance service.
“The fire has now been extinguished.”
A police spokesperson confirmed police were in attendance. She said it was an “ongoing incident” and therefore couldn’t comment further.