A FAMILY had a lucky escape after a youngster accidentally turned on a hob and set alight to a tea towel.

Two fire crews from Clacton were called to a property in Porter Way in the town just after 10am on Saturday.

The smoke alarm had alerted the homeowners to a fire, which had started when the cooker accidentally ignited and set fire to a tea towel.

Firefighters believe the blaze was started inadvertently by a child at the house.

Ben Turner, watch manager at Clacton Fire Station, said: "We think a child probably accidentally turned on the hob, which set alight to the tea towel and created a lot of smoke.

"If it hadn't been for the smoke alarms the family would not have realised there was a fire and it could have developed into a far larger incident before they could take action.

"It's important to turn your cooker off when you're not using it and make sure nothing is left on top of it.

"It's also a good idea to install a stair gate, or close your kitchen door, to stop young children or pets getting in when you're not in there.

"Thanks to the quick actions of the family the flat has only suffered a small amount of smoke damage and everyone got out safely."

Once the fire was extinguished, crews cleared the flat of smoke and spent time talking through safety advice with the family and ensuring everyone was ok.