A SHOPPING bag which was left on top of a hob caught alight when the hob was accidentally switched on.

Two fire crews were called to Great Oak Court, in Great Yeldham, just after 1pm today and found the whole house was full of smoke when they arrived.

The resident heard their smoke alarm go off and managed to get out of the house before raising the alarm.

Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire by 1:35pm.

Station Officer Steve Byrne, Halstead Fire Station, said: "It's incidents like this that show how important it is to have a working smoke alarm in your house.

"It is thanks to their working smoke alarm that the occupant was alerted to the fire immediately so they were able to get out safely.

"It also meant that they could call 999 and we were able to get to the incident quickly extinguish the fire before it could spread and damage the whole house."