A DOG is believed to have started a fire which left two pooches trapped in a burning Gravesend flat.

Two fire engines were called to a blaze in the kitchen of a basement flat in Pier Road at 3.10pm yesterday (Feb 13) after a neighbour noticed smoke pouring out of the vent.

Realising that the two dogs were alone in the smoke-filled room, the woman burst in and saved the pets before closing the door to stop the fire from spreading.

Kent Fire and Rescue believe the blaze was sparked by one of the dogs jumping up and turning on the electric hob which ignited something on top of the stove and spread to the rest of the kitchen.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus put out the fire and the hob and other kitchen appliances damaged by fire and heat.

However, smoke damage was contained to the kitchen and hallway due to the doors being closed.

Thames-side watch manager Vicki Brown said: “We never advise anyone to enter a property where there is a fire, as the toxic smoke can be deadly.

“On this occasion, the neighbour was extremely lucky and her kind-hearted actions probably saved the dogs’ lives, but at considerable risk to her own safety.”

This is the second dog-related fire in north Kent in less than a month.

A woman was left hospitalised after rescuing her pet from a blaze thought to have been sparked by the Rotweiler jumping on the hob in Willow Road, Dartford.

For safety free advice phone Kent Fire and Rescue Service on 0800 923 7000 or visit www.3breaths.info.