A FIRE broke out in a flat after a kitchen hob was left unattended.

Firefighters from Braintree, Halstead and Old Harlow were called to a property in Marlborough Road, Braintree, after a resident had heard a smoke alarm going off in a nearby property.

Crews arrived to find the ground floor of the flat in question completely smoke logged.

It took them just 20 minutes to extinguish the fire but the kitchen suffered some smoke damage.

The incident happened around 19.25pm on Monday, January 6.

An investigation has found the fire was started accidentally after an item left on the kitchen hob caught alight.

The hob had been left unattended and no one was in the property when the fire broke out.

Watch Manager Paul Burder, from Braintree Fire Station, said: "We’d like to remind the public to double check they’ve turned the hob off when they leave the house and to avoid leaving items on the hob.

"We’d also like to highlight the importance of having working smoke alarms in your home. If the resident didn’t have working smoke alarms, this incident would have caused significant damage."

Essex Fire and Rescue Service has urged all residents to ensure they have working smoke alarms to ensure their crews have the best possible chance to limit fire damage.

A spokesman said: "Smoke alarms are proven life savers. They give warning at the first sign of fire, waking you and your family up and giving everyone the time they need to get safely out and call the fire service."

Residents can have a smoke alarm fitted free of charge with thanks to an initiative run by the fire service.

To find out more information, visit essex-fire.gov.uk/book.