FIREFIGHTERS were called to a Benfleet home after the owner left a saucepan on the hob.
Crews broke into the home in Shipwrights Drive at 3pm today after neighbours heard the smoke alarm and dialled 999.
When firefighters arrived, they saw through the window that the entire kitchen was smokelogged due to the pan on the lit stove.
Firefighters broke in and used a positive pressure ventilation fan to remove smoke from the room.
More fires start in the kitchen than any other room in the home and incidents like this show why it is important to not be distracted when cooking, Divisional Officer Neil Fenwick said: “We know that cooking is an everyday activity but it is still not something people should be blasé about and requires your full attention.
“Just a moment’s distraction is all it takes for a harmless spot of cooking to turn into a potentially devastating fire. This person was lucky a neighbour called us and crews got there in time to prevent a fire, but it shows how a moments inattention is all it takes for a fire to break out on a cooker."