SIX dogs and two cats had to be rescued from a smoke-filled house after an unattended cooking pan caught fire. 

The animals were given oxygen using specialist masks as they were led to safety yesterday afternoon. 

Two fire engines from Didcot and Abingdon fire stations were sent to the incident in Mendip Heights, Didcot, at 4.16pm.

On arrival the crews discovered a small fire in the ground floor kitchen.

Two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the heavily smoke logged property and discovered the pan on fire.

They used a high-pressure hose reel to put the fire out before dealing with the pets.

An investigation into the cause was carried out confirming it was due to a cooking pan being left unattended which caught light.

Incident commander watch manager Steve Wright from Didcot Fire Station said: “The consequences of this incident could have been far worse.

"There are two key messages that I’d like to get out there – make sure your home has a working smoke alarm that they are checked once a week and take care when cooking as it is the greatest cause of fire in the home”.

Crews will be in the area today carrying out a post fire leaflet drop and talking to residents.