FIREFIGHTERS have praised a fire victim’s neighbour after he put out a kitchen blaze.

Two people living in Whitley Crescent in Bicester had a lucky escape after an unattended frying pan caught fire on Tuesday at 10.30pm.

One resident first spotted the smoke going up the stairs and escaped by climbing from a window on to a conservatory roof before alerting the neighbour.

The neighbour used a damp cloth to put out the pan fire and blazing cupboards where it had spread.

The pair carried on through the smokelogged house to find the second person who lived in the property and led them to safety.

All three were checked by ambulance staff for smoke inhalation and given the all clear.

Fire crews wearing breathing apparatus entered the property and quickly extinguished the remainder of the fire.

Although the house had smoke alarms fitted they were not working as the batteries had been removed.

Watch manager Paul Mann warned people about the importance of working smoke detectors and not leaving cooking unattended.

He said “Fortunately on this occasion, and due to the courageous actions of neighbours, everyone was able to escape unharmed, however the outcome could have been much worse if the fire had remained undiscovered.

“This incident highlights the importance of having working smoke alarms fitted and to test them on a weekly basis.

“I would also like to remind people of the importance of not leaving cooking unattended.”

The property was heavily smoke damaged and fire crews used a pressurised fan to clear the smoke from the house.