A Hastings man is lucky to be alive after his unit caught on fire in the early hours of the morning.

Two Hastings fire crews were sent to the Ferguson St, Akina, address at about 5am where they found the kitchen of the middle unit in a block of three on fire.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand Hastings station officer Michael Manning said the crews did an extremely good job at containing the fire by going through the front of the unit and through the roof ensuring the blaze was cut off and the other two units were not damaged.

The occupants of the two adjoining units were evacuated as a precaution.

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The fire had been caused by unattended cooking and the both the kitchen and lounge were extensively damaged.

The single occupant was alerted to the flames by neighbours banging on his windows.

They assisted him out and he was uninjured.

"The person was very lucky to have escaped with their life."

People needed to remember to "keep looking while they are cooking" and to never cook while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

"It's a recipe for disaster."

Fire crews were there for about 2-and-a-half hours and returned again later in the morning to carry out final checks.

It is unknown whether the unit had smoke alarms but it was always a good idea for people to check they had working ones installed, he said.

Hastings firefighters were also called to a crash on SH50 near Paki Paki at about 10am after a truck carrying vegetables rolled into a ditch.

The driver received moderate injuries and was taken to Hawke's Bay Hospital.