Retired truck driver Norman Bosworth, 89, was relaxing in his lounge when his portable heater caught fire.
His curtains had already ignited and the fire was threatening to spread quickly through his home.
But Norman, who lost his left leg after suffering a blood clot five years ago, miraculously managed to balance himself so he was able to extinguish the flames by stamping on them with his only full lower limb.
The brave pensioner’s heroic actions – who quipped that one leg was all he needed – has been praised by emergency services.
By the time fire crews arrived at the property in Plymouth, Devon, Norman had already finished the job – and he was helped into an ambulance and rushed to hospital.
He said: “It would not have been so bad if I’d had two legs. It made it harder because I can’t get out of the chair.
“I may only have one leg, but that was all I needed to stamp on the flames.”
Norman said he had just settled down with a cup of tea and had his back to the window.
He said: “I thought ‘It’s getting a bit hot in here’. Next thing I knew was ‘puff’.
“Something went wrong, it just exploded.
“The curtains were all ablaze. I grabbed a stick and pulled them down, then grabbed a coconut mat and put that on the flames and stood on them.
“I threw my cup of tea on it as well.”
Norman, a widower says the electric heater was on the floor but he doesn’t think it was switched on.
The incident happened at 8am last Wednesday and neighbours managed to raise the alarm.
Norman was treated for a burn to his hand and smoke inhalation, but has now returned home to continue his recovery.
He said: “It all seemed to happen so quickly, it was over in ten minutes.
“It could have been worse. I just thought if I could stop the flames it would be OK and luckily I was able to.”
A Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue spokesman said: “We don’t advise people to tackle fires themselves but in this incidence – considering the circumstances – the man was very brave and we wish him a speedy recovery.”
The spokesman also confirmed that two fire engines attended the incident following reports of smoke in the house, and said the fire in the lounge was already out by the time they arrived.
They added: “The crews used a positive pressure ventilation fan to remove the smoke.
“One adult male suffered smoke inhalation and burns to hand and was treated by an ambulance.”