cigarette sets flat on fire

A POLICEMAN is fighting for his life in hospital after he allegedly fell asleep with a burning cigarette in his hand.

A POLICEMAN is fighting for his life in hospital after he allegedly fell asleep with a burning cigarette in his hand.

The cigarette apparently fell on the bed and started a fire while the man slept and set fire to the flat.

The incident happened in the early hours of yesterday morning at the South African Police Service's in RR Swart Square single quarters in Durban.

Neighbours next to the officer's flat woke up to find the flat on fire.

They alerted the police and paramedics, who arrived and were able to rescue the trapped officer.

Netcare 911's Chris Botha said the paramedics found the man had sustained serious burns to his head, chest and arms.

"Paramedics stabilised the officer on the scene," Botha said.

"They then transported him to the Netcare St Augustine's Hospital in a serious condition for further treatment."

Police spokesman Michael Reed confirmed that a cigarette had caused the fire.

"We have established that the man fell asleep with a burning cigarette in his hand.

"The cigarette allegedly fell on the bed and caused the fire," he said.

Other rooms on the same floor were not affected.

An inquiry into the incident is continuing.

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