Firefighters used one hose reel jet to extinguish a mattress on fire in Clacton.
The duvet had been pulled outside from the ground floor of the property by the occupier, who suffered burns to his hands and legs.
The casualty was left in the care of the ambulance service by 09:39hrs.
Leading Firefighter Andrew Barber said: “This incident involved a couple in their 50s. The wife was in bed and had taken her medication, whuch made her woozy, and had lit a cigarette. She nodded off and the cigarette set light to her duvet.
“Luckily her husband was up so he whipped the duvet off her and ran through the house and threw it outside which is where we found it.
“The man suffered burns from carrying the duvet but his wife is lucky he was up and awake or this could have been much, much worse. It shows why you shouldn’t smoke under the influence of drugs and why you should never smoke in bed.”
Smokers should to follow these simple precautions to prevent a fire in their home:
• Put it out, right out! Make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished.
• Take extra care when you’re tired, taking any sort of drugs or have been drinking alcohol. It’s very easy to fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning.
• Never smoke in bed – if you need to lie down, don’t light up. You could doze off and set your bed on fire.
• Never leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended – they can easily overbalance as they burn down.
• Use a proper, heavy ashtray that can’t tip over easily and is made of a material that won’t burn. Make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished.
• Tap your ash into an ashtray, never a wastebasket containing other rubbish – and don’t let the ash or cigarette ends build up in the ashtray.
• Use child safe matches and cigarette lighters and keep them safely out of the reach of children
• Fit and maintain a smoke alarm – a working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.