FIREFIGHTERS were called to an empty house full of smoke after a wood burner caught fire while the owner was away.

Four fire engines were sent to Barnard Gate near Witney at 4.16pm on Sunday after a worried neighbour called 999.

The first crews on the scene were faced with smoke pouring out of ground floor and first floor windows at the detached house.

Unsure if anyone was inside, the firefighters donned breathing apparatus and went inside with high-pressure hose reels and thermal imaging cameras.

After they established that no one was there, they traced the smoke to a pile of logs next to the wood burner. The logs were extinguished and a fan was used to clear the smoke.

Incident commander Matt Nind from Witney Fire Station said: “This occupier was very lucky that he had working smoke alarms on all floors and the sound of that alarm alerted the neighbour who called 999.

“The quick actions of the neighbour and our swift attendance ensured the logs were extinguished before the fire could spread to the lounge furnishings, and damage was therefore limited to some smoke damage. 

“I cannot stress enough the importance of ensuring fires are properly extinguished before going to bed or leaving home, and that logs and kindling are kept well away until they are to be used. 

“On this occasion the heat transferred quickly to the adjacent logs and should the smoke alarms not have alerted the neighbour it could have been a very different story.”