A WOMAN has been praised for being able to quickly flee her house when her kitchen caught fire.

Fire crews were called to Mill Lane in Grays at 6.09pm yesterday to the kitchen fire which was started by a toaster, with two engines attending.

Crews from Grays and Orsett were called to a kitchen fire in Grays earlier this evening after the resident heard her smoke alarms going off.

The woman's usual route out of the house was blocked due to smoke but her escape route out of the back door was clear and she was able to get out of the house, stay out and call the fire service out.

Firefighters put the fire out by 6.55pm which was caused by a toaster and has left the house badly smoke damaged.

Watch Manager Mark Hampton, from Grays Fire Station, said: “The resident did the right thing when hearing her smoke alarms going off by getting out of the house, staying out and calling us out.

“She had a clear escape plan and route out of the house so we’d really like to highlight the importance of keeping your exits clear in your home and making sure everyone knows their way out of the house in the event of an emergency.

"Plan two ways out of the house in case one of them is blocked and take some time to practice your escape plan so everybody knows what to do if there was a fire.

"We’d also like to highlight the importance of having working smoke alarms in your home, they’re proven life savers and we recommend you have one on every level of your home.”

If you or someone you know doesn’t have working smoke alarms, Essex Fire Service can supply them for free during a home fire safety visit.

Visit www.essex-fire.gov.uk/book.