A blaze which severely damaged a semi-detached house in Keighley early this morning is under investigation.

When firefighters arrived at the scene, flames were licking from the downstairs windows.

Initially it was reported someone was in the house, at Braithwaite Edge Road, but it turned out the property was unoccupied.

Fire crews, called out just after midnight, tackled the inferno from outside before forcing entry to the house.

Appliances from Keighley, Silsden and Bingley attended.

Firefighters, some wearing breathing apparatus, used two hose reels to bring the blaze under control.

The fire was restricted to the kitchen area but there was smoke damage to the whole property.

Police and fire officers are probing the cause.

Watch commander Carl Foulds, of Keighley fire station, said there was a huge amount of smoke and as they had approached the scene they were flagged down by a man who was choking on the fumes. He was taken to hospital as a precaution.

“Smoke filled the area - we used a special ventilation fan to help clear it from the property,” he said.

“There was an added danger in that a home oxygen unit was present in the house.

“The property was well alight but we managed to mainly contain the fire damage to the kitchen.”

Checks were carried out in the neighbouring house to ensure the fire hadn’t spread.