COOKERY books which had fallen onto a hob sparked a kitchen blaze in the early hours of today.
A couple in their 20s were making pasta at around 4am in their home in Lister Street, Hartlepool, and had left the cooker unattended when the books fell onto the cooker top.
The pair were alerted to the fire by the smell of smoke and attempted to put out the flames, but called in the fire service when they struggled.
Two crew members from Hartlepool Stranton Fire Station wore breathing apparatus to put out the blaze with a small amount of water.
The kitchen suffered minor smoke damage, with a fan used to clear the smoke, and the couple were unhurt.
The fire service said the house’s smoke alarms had also been set off by the fumes, showing the importance of installing them in the home.