Wiltshire firefights are reminding the public about the importance of working smoke alarms after they helped save people from a serious kitchen fire in All Cannings, near Devizes.

Fire crews from Devizes and Pewsey were called to a mid-terraced property at 4.30am on December 30. Two breathing apparatus wearers used two covering jets and a hose reel jet to extinguish the fire, which caused severe damage to the kitchen.

The cause is believed to be a battery charger for an e-cigarette. Fortunately, the house was fitted with working smoke alarms, which activated and alerted the occupants to the fire, allowing them to evacuate safely.

Station Manager Richard Humphrey said: “Without working smoke alarms, this incident could have been far worse. Thankfully, the occupants received an early warning to the fire, and they were able to get out of the house."

He added: “E-cigarettes are sold with either single-use batteries or lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. These batteries can fail whilst on charge, sometimes with explosive force.

"Our advice for e-cigarettes is the same as for many smaller electrical appliances such as mobile phones and laptops – don’t be tempted to buy cheap unbranded chargers, don’t leave them to charge whilst you are out of the house or asleep, and keep them well away from flammable materials.”