A woman was rescued by her smoke alarm after a kitchen fire started from a pan that had been left on the hob.

After the alarm woke her up, she called the fire brigade, with crews from Harrow and Ruislip attending her home in Dean Croft Road, Eastcote.

After being taken to safety by firefighters, she was treated for smoke inhalation by London Ambulance Service. The fire, which started at around 2.50am on December 31, was under control within half an hour.

Those who were at the scene said the incident shows the importance of having working smoke alarms fitted and they also touched on the advantages of heat detectors in certain rooms.

Firefighter Clifford Meane said: “Thankfully, the smoke alarm woke the woman up and she was able to call us.

“It’s really easy to forget about pots and pans simmering away, especially in the evening and so never leave your cooking unattended.

“The fire damaged a small section of the kitchen but it did create a lot of smoke which can be very dangerous.

“This shows how important smoke alarms are but also heat detectors for kitchens. These are designed for use in the kitchen and go off when a certain temperature is reached.”

He added that, as a minimum, there should be at least one smoke alarm fitted on every floor of the home but that, ideally, one should be placed in every room that is used regularly, as well as in the hallway.

It is not advised that smoke detectors are fitted in kitchens or bathrooms as steam can damage them or unintentionally set them off.