A HOUSE was left badly damaged after a fire broke out in a kitchen due to a faulty appliance.

Nobody was home at the time and the alarm was only raised when a visiting family member arrived and found the house full of smoke.

Two crews were called to the house in Finchingfield which did not have any working smoke alarms.

When they arrived at the home in Stephen Marshall Avenue, they reported the whole house was full of smoke.

Darren Hockley, crew manager, said: "The house has been badly damaged by the fire, but we are just thankful that no one was home at the time, because there were no working smoke alarms.

"It was also quite clear that the fire had been smouldering for some time, as the house was completely full of smoke.

"The internal doors were all open which also meant the smoke could spread into every room and cause damage.

"Once we had extinguished the fire, we fitted new smoke alarms to each level of the house."

The fire service were called just before 2pm last Thursday.

Mr Hockley added: "The fire service fit free smoke alarms to any house in Essex, so I am urging anyone who doesn't have working smoke alarms to get in contact with us.

"Smoke alarms not only give you, the resident, warning of a fire, it can also alert your neighbours to the fire, and the earlier we are called, the quicker we can deal with it and the less damage the fire will cause."

Call 0300 303 0088 or book online at www.essex-fire.gov.uk/book.