Smoke alarms helped alert a woman to a fire in her house and prevent serious damage to the property.

The blaze had been started by a faulty tumble dryer but was extinguished by firefighters.

They were called to a semi-detached property in Manor Road, Benfleet, at 6.48am today (Friday, September 24) amid reports of a fire in a kitchen.

A woman inside the property had been alerted to the incident by smoke alarms and left the house before calling the fire service.

The property was filled with smoke when fire crews arrived but they were able to put the flames out by 7.20am.

Crew Manager Sam Panzetta said: "Fortunately, the property had two working smoke alarms, one on each floor, which woke up the occupant.

"After realising what was happening, she did the right thing: she got out, stayed out and called 999.

"Crews were on the scene quickly, extinguished the fire and used a fan to clear the smoke.

"This incident really highlights the importance of having working smoke alarms. If you or someone you know doesn’t have working smoke alarms at home, please get in touch with our Service. Visit or call 0300 303 0088."