Firefighters have warned residents not to cook on naked flames inside after they had to rescue a man who lit a barbecue on a small living room table ‘because he had no power’.

A neighbour had called firefighters after seeing flames through the window of the flat in Poplar Road, Leatherhead last night (Thursday, May 18).

The man had sought refuge from the flames and the smoke in his bathroom after the barbecue got out of hand, at about 11.30pm, scorching the room within a metre-radius of the pit.

After a crew had extinguished the fire, the man, who was suffering from slight smoke inhalation, was taken to Epsom Hospital for a precautionary check, a fireman from Leatherhead fire station said.

The man told firefighters he had lit the barbecue because he had no power to cook with.

The dangers risked by lighting the fire inside were heightened by the presence of gas canisters in the flat, the firefighter added.

He advised that the man had risked carbon monoxide poisoning by lighting the barbecue inside, and said it was “quite fortunate” that neighbours had seen the late-night fire and called emergency services.

“It was quite a dangerous thing to do,” he added.

“Even if people have not got any power, we would definitely advise them not to do that.”

Crews from Leatherhead and Epsom fire stations attended the fire in Poplar Avenue.

Epsom fire station is holding an open day on Saturday, June 17 from 10.30am.