FIREFIGHTERS had to rush to extinguish an oven fire after a resident left his cooking unattended. 

Crews from the Essex Fire Service were called to Dickens Close, in Southend, shortly before  7.30pm last night.

The service's control room staff had received reports from a man who had discovered a blaze in his kitchen.

The resident was then told to get out of the house to safety and to shut any doors to prevent the fire spreading throughout the house.

On arrival, firefighters reported that the kitchen was heavily smoke logged, but by 7.49pm had extinguished the inferno. 

While at the property, firefighters fitted smoke alarms as the resident had none which worked.

Crew manager Rick Jones, from Southend Fire Station, said “Smoke alarms save lives and we want all homes in Essex to have them - they give you and others an early warning sign to fire.

"Had this resident not spotted the fire himself and called us, the fire could have gone unnoticed and spread quickly and this is why smoke alarms are so important to alert us to fire.

"We can fit smoke alarms for free during a home fire safety visit, if you haven’t got working smoke alarms at home please contact our team.”