A BLAZE at a Dartford home which left a woman hospitalised is thought to have been started by the family dog.

Firefighters were called to the two-storey house in Willow Road at shortly before 12.15pm today (Jan 22) after the pet Rottweiler accidentally turned on the hob.

Crews wearing breathing apparatus quickly put out the blaze which destroyed 20 per cent of the kitchen and caused smoke damage throughout the house.

The homeowner had left a load of laundry on top of the hob and went to collect her daughter from nursery.

She returned to find smoke billowing out of her house and dialled 999 before rescuing her pet pooch from the smoke-filled kitchen.

Dartford watch manager Bob Chilmaid said: “Just three breaths of fire smoke can knock you unconscious so don’t put yourself at risk by stopping to investigate the fire or to collect pets or valuables.

"Just tell the fire crews when they arrive – we’ll be able to find them quicker and more safely than you."

He added: “The safest option is to make sure cookers and other appliances are always fully switched off after use and never store items around ovens and hobs.”

The homeowner was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation and taken to hospital for precautionary checks.

For free fire safety advice freephone 0800 923 7000 or visit www.3breaths.info.