A cat was saved by firefighters after a washing machine went up in flames. 

Crews from Southend were called to Reynolds Gardens, Ashingdon, around 12.20pm today (Wednesday, May 5) after a fire started inside a kitchen. 

They arrived to find a three-storey home filled with smoke. 

The fire was put out within minutes and crews were also able to rescue a cat which had been unable to escape the thick smoke. 

It was then left in the care of a vet. 

While at the address, firefighters fitted three smoke alarms as the resident had no working alarms.

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Crews believe the fire was caused by an electrical fault with the dishwasher.

Watch Manager Dan Evison from Southend Fire said: “Please do not leave any appliances like dishwashers, washing machines etc running overnight or if you’re going to leave the house. Electrical faults are surprisingly common and can cause fires.

“We’d also urge everybody to make sure you have a working smoke alarm on every level of your home to alert you to a fire.

"Test your smoke alarms at least once a month to make sure you and your family get an early warning sign to a fire in your home.”