RESIDENTS in a Basildon home got “extremely lucky” after a kitchen fire went undetected because the house had no working smoke alarms, a crew member from Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) has said.

Crews were called to Wayletts, Basildon, at 4am on Sunday morning when residents woke up to a smoke-filled house. 

When firefighters, who were equipped with breathing apparatus, entered the property, they found a pan on fire on the hob.

Crews then extinguished the fire and worked to ventilate the property, whilst the occupants were left in the care of the ambulance service so they could be treated for smoke inhalation.

Basildon Fire Station's crew manager, Kriss Mortimer, said it was crucial for people to have working smoke alarms in their homes, adding the outcome could have been far more serious.

He said: “We cannot stress enough how important it is to have working smoke alarms on every level of your home. 

“The occupants were extremely lucky that they woke up and noticed the smoke, but usually your smoke alarms would be waking you up much earlier to the first signs of fire. 

“Please make sure you have at least one working smoke alarm on every level of your home.”

Fire services are also able to fit smoke alarms inside properties free of charge, Mr Mortimer added.

“If you haven’t got any or they’re not working, we can fit them for free.

“Get in touch with our home fire safety team at or by calling 0300 303 0088.”

Mr Mortimer continued by reminding the public to keep cooking hobs clear to minimise risks of a potential fire.

“I’d like to praise the Basildon crews for their quick action to put the fire out; this prevented it spreading throughout the house as the doors were open and contained the damage to the kitchen.

“We recommend you keep your hob clear at all times once you've finished cooking as it can be easy to leave the hob on or for it to accidentally be switched on.”