A JUMPING pet dog sparked a kitchen fire by switching on a hob.

Firefighters were called to a home in Boxted Avenue, Clacton, at about 8.20pm on Friday after a neighbour spotted spoke.

The two crews from Clacton fire station quickly extinguished the small blaze, which was out by 8.40pm.

Watch manager Paul Champ said: "The occupant was out of the house when the fire started and she believes her dog jumped up and turned on the hob.

"Unfortunately, there were some boxes on the hob and they caught fire.

"The incident serves as a reminder not to leave anything on your hobs, even when they are not in use, because they could inadvertently catch fire.

"Thankfully a neighbour had already called us but the occupant, who got home just before we arrived, did the right thing - she got out, stayed out and called 999."

The fire caused smoke damage to the kitchen.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service said more than half of accidental fires at home are started by cooking.

A spokesman said: "Avoid leaving children or animals unattended in the kitchen.

"Make sure saucepan handles don’t stick out – so they don’t get knocked off the stove.

"Keep anything flammable away from the cooker and hob at all times.

"Take care if you need to leave the kitchen whilst cooking, take pans off the heat or turn them down to avoid risk."