Three people were saved after a paramedic in Staffordshire discovered a fire outside their flats.
The West Midlands Ambulance Service medic spotted smoke while on stand-by in Hednesford Road, Heath Hayes, Cannock, around 2230 BST on Saturday.
He found a fire in wooden decking on a walkway in front of the flats and raised the alarm with the occupants to enable them to get.
No-one was injured in the incident and the cause is being investigated.
An ambulance service spokesman said: "All three occupants were unaware of the fire even though one of the flats had already become smoke-filled.
"Considering the nature of the incident, the occupants were extremely fortunate to have not suffered serious injuries."