Firefighters had to break into a smoke-filled home to save a man in a dramatic rescue in the first hour of the new year.

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Firefighters were called to Temple Road, off Magdalen Road in north Norwich, just after 12.30am this morning to reports of a fire.

Neighbours were alerted by the sound of a smoke detector and could see smoke in the flat.

Fire crews from Sprowston, Earlham and Carrow forced their way into the home and rescued the man, who was suffering from smoke inhalation.

Firefighters had put out the flames, caused by overcooked food, by 12.55am and the final crew had left the scene by 1.10am.

The man who was rescued did not want to talk to our reporter.

The fire came after New Year’s Eve strike action by The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) came to an end.

Union members took part in the latest wave of strike action between 6.30pm last night and 12.30am this morning.

The fire service continued to operate a 999 response service during the strike action, with calls prioritised as they came in.

There was reduced levels of cover and around half of fire stations closed temporarily.

During the strike action in Cambridgeshire, six 999 calls were responded to.

Graham Stagg, chief fire officer at Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Although our crewing levels were significantly impacted, we were able to use our own operationally trained managers and on-call firefighters to crew

fire engines during the strike period.

“Whilst our day-to-day services were severely disrupted by the strike, the commitment of our on-call, support and operational managers ensured we were able to fulfil our legal duty to provide a fire and rescue service.

“Our thanks goes out to the community for taking extra care this evening and putting safety at the forefront of their minds. We would also like to thank the family and friends of the staff crewing appliances for the sacrifices they have

made over the holiday period to ensure the ongoing safety of the residents of Cambridgeshire.”

The strike action has been sparked because of a dispute between the FBU and the government over changes to firefighter pensions.

A further strike is set to take place on Friday, January 3.

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