A WOMAN managed to escape her home after a tumble dryer started a fire.

Amy Newstead was at her home in Rawreth, near Wickford, with Flossie her Pug, when she heard the sound of her smoke alarms.

Knowing where her alarms were, Ms Newstead realised it was coming from her utility cupboard and it was likely her tumble dryer was on fire.

She said: "After quickly rushing to the room I saw all the smoke and opened the cupboard and I saw flames.

"In that second I thought I need to get the dog out and call the fire service, I also went to the fuse box and turned everything off and waited outside so I could flag down the fire engine.

When firefighters arrived there were still flames coming from the tumble dryer as well as smoke throughout the open plan bungalow.

They quickly extinguished the fire and cleared the property of smoke.

Watch Manager Wayne Davey, of Rayleigh Weir Fire Station, said: "If Amy hadn’t been alerted to the fire when it first started the house could have been completely alight by the time she noticed it and we arrived.

"By closing the cupboard door Amy also helped to limit the spread of the fire, which in turn limited the damage to the utility area."

The fire happened on March 31 shortly before 1.30pm.

Ms Newstead has now been spreading the message that people need to install and test their smoke alarms.

She added: "If that smoke alarm hadn’t gone off I would not have noticed that there was smoke, because it’s a room at the end of the house.

"We’re very conscious of what damage can be done with fire.

"Without the firefighters and my smoke alarm, the fire could have engulfed the whole house and it would have been a very different story, especially if the dog had been inside."

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service recommends residents have at least one smoke alarm on every level of their home and that they are tested regularly.

For more information on how to book a home safety visit, details of how to get a free smoke alarm and get fire safety advice over the phone visit essex-fire.gov.uk/book.