Fire crews were sent to Greenock's Carwood Court yesterday afternoon as flames broke out in a flat.
Two appliances from Greenock Community Fire Station raced to the property where fire fighters in breathing apparatus searched for the resident.
The man was helped to safety and given treatment for smoke inhalation at the scene before being taken to Inverclyde Royal Hospital.
The fire is believed to have started in the kitchen around 5pm on Thursday.
Station Manager David McCarrey said: "Effective smoke detection is absolutely essential and this incident shows how having an early warning saves lives and helps limit damage when fire strikes.
"Our crews were able to reach the scene and tackle this fire before it could spread throughout the flat, preventing what could have been significant damage to the building, the loss of cherished possessions, and a real threat to life.
"Our message to everyone is that working smoke alarms save lives and we all need to make sure our home and those of anyone we look out for have this vital protection."