FIREFIGHTERS were called to a house blaze in Rayleigh after a dishwasher set alight.

The ten year-old machine had been left on a timer in the utility room of the home in Knivet Close whilst the family slept upstairs.

Fortunately the smoke detector raised the alarm and when crews from Rayleigh Weir arrived at the scene at 3.25am they found the home-owners safely waiting outside.

Firefighters used one hose reel and breathing apparatus to tackle the flames, and cleared the smoke-logged property with a high pressure fan.

The incident was dealt with just after 4.10am.