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Dusseldorf - A man in western Germany is likely still alive because he burnt his supper, local firefighters said on Saturday.

While cooking a meal on Friday night, the man lost consciousness due to low blood sugar levels. The food began to smoke, setting off a fire detector and prompting neighbours to call the fire brigade.

Firefighters found the man unconscious and took him to hospital.

"If the fire brigade hadn't shown up, he probably would have died from hypoglycaemia," said a spokesman for the fire service in the city of Krefeld.

The burnt food had posed no problems for the firefighters - it was extinguished and the flat was aired out.