A QUICK-THINKING neighbour stopped a kitchen blaze spreading after hearing a smoke alarm and calling the fire brigade.

The resident in Van Dyck Road, Colchester, heard the alarms shortly before 11am and called 999.

Crews were able to extinguish it within 20 minutes.

The fire was caused by a pan that had been accidentally left on the hob while the resident left the house.

The kitchen was heavily smoke logged.

Crew manager Andrew Deex from Colchester Fire Station said: “This incident really highlights the importance of having working smoke alarms and how you should act on them if you hear them going off in a neighbour's home.

"Thanks to the quick actions of the neighbours, we were able to extinguish the fire quickly before it caused any damage to the flat.

“I’d advise to double check you’ve turned the hob off after use and check it’s off before you leave the house.”