FIRE crews rushed to the scene of a kitchen blaze yesterday afternoon (Sunday, April 14).

Two fire engines were called to a home in Achilles Way, in Braintree, at about 5pm where a pan of cooking oil had caught alight.

When they arrived they found the fire was out but they worked to remove the remaining smoke.

They found the batteries had been removed from the smoke alarms inside the house.

Crew manager Paul Mayes said: "Smoke alarms alert you to the first sign of fire in your home and can be the difference between life or death.

"Although it can be tempting to remove a battery or disconnect an alarm it's vital that you never do this and regularly test your alarm to ensure it's working correctly."