A MAN had a lucky escape after he started cooking but fell asleep drunk, leaving a chip pan to ignite.

A neighbour who heard a smoke alarm attempted to wake the householder in Alexandra Street, Pelton, but when they couldn't stir them raised the alarm and called emergency services.

A crew from High Handenhold Fire Station attended the scene at aaround 2.20am this morning.

The fire in t he kitchen downstairs was brought under control and the occupant was found asleep upstairs, in an apparently inebriated state.

A County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson for the service issued a warning following the incident.

They said: "Crews attended a chip pan fire tonight where someone had fallen asleep after starting to cook when drunk.

"Luckily a brave neighbour phoned the fire service quickly when they heard the smoke alarm but couldn't wake them.

"No one was hurt this time.

"Don't drink and cook,get a takeaway."