Firefighters were called to a house fire this morning after an elderly occupant was awoken by the sounds of burning.

On arrival to the property in Church Road, Vange, crews reported that the roof, loft area, an upstairs bedroom and a shed in the back garden of a two-storey property was alight.

The house, which is in the middle of a terrace of three properties, was completely smoke logged.

The elderly occupant of the home, who was the only person inside at the time, was fortunately able to evacuate with the help of neighbours.

Firefighters extinguished the fire by 6.37am after working hard to prevent it spreading to the neighbouring homes.

The roof has been completely destroyed, while the bedroom has also suffered from fire damage.

Much of the property has also been damaged by smoke and water and is therefore uninhabitable.

An investigation found that the fire had been caused accidentally by a discarded cigarette, which had ignited the shed in the property's back garden.

The fire had then spread to the adjacent back wall of the home and quickly reached the upstairs.

This is the second time in three days that firefighters have attended a serious fire at a domestic property caused by inappropriately discarded cigarettes.

If you're a smoker or you have a smoker living in your house, please follow our advice:
•Make sure your all cigarettes are fully extinguished.
•Take extra care when you’re tired, taking any sort of drugs or have been drinking alcohol. It’s very easy to fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning.
•Never smoke in bed - if you need to lie down, don’t light up. You could doze off and set your bed on fire.
•Never leave lit cigarettes unattended - they can easily overbalance as they burn down.
•Use a proper, heavy ashtray that can’t tip over easily and is made of a material that won’t burn. Make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished.
•Tap your ash into an ashtray, never a wastebasket containing other rubbish – and don’t let the ash or cigarette ends build up in the ashtray.
•Use child safe matches and cigarette lighters and keep them safely out of the reach of children
•Fit and maintain a smoke alarm - a working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.