A man had to be taken to hospital following a fire outside flats in Ellesmere Port during the early hours of this morning (December 18).

The property on Sutton Way was damaged by the blaze, which involved a sofa which had been left in front of the flats.

Paramedics took the male patient to the Countess of Chester Hospital , after being called to the incident shortly after 2am.

Crews from Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service were in attendance for more than an hour and used two hose reels to extinguish the fire.

Smoke entered the three-storey block of flats so a large fan was used to remove it.

A spokesperson for the service said an investigation into the cause of the fire will take place but it is thought that it was started deliberately.

Two dogs had to be taken from a ground floor flat, but were unharmed.