FIREFIGHTERS rescued five people from a burning building today following a blaze in a first floor flat.

The occupant of the London Road flat by Cemetery Junction, east Reading, managed to escape onto the roof and firefighters had to carry him down a ladder to safety.

The man was taken to the Royal Berkshire Hospital by ambulance to be treated for smoke inhalation.

A family of four - including two young children - were also helped out of the ground floor flat, which had become smoke logged.

The blaze began at around 10am when a mattress caught fire. The cause is still to be determined.

Crews from Wokingham Road and Caversham Road fire station attended the scene and spent around two hours tackling the flames with hose reels and making the building safe.

The road was closed by police during the incident.

Firefighter Danny Wheeler said the fire caused extensive damage to the first floor flat as well as smoke damage to the apartment below.