A GOOD citizen who called 999 when they smelt burning coming from a block of flats saved the homes from destruction, the fire service has said.

The un-named passerby caught the acrid smell coming from the three-storey block of flats in Witney at about 2.45pm on Thursday.

They called the emergency services and crews from Witney and Bampton rushed to the scene.

Firefighters braved the smoke-filled flat wearing breathing apparatus and discovered the fire was caused by an item on a hob left switched on after the occupier went to work.

They doused the blaze and ventilated the entire building.

Incident Commander Chris Rowe said: "This incident highlights the dangers of leaving items on the cooker hob and how easy it is to cause damage to your property.

"I would like to highlight the importance of having working smoke alarms on each level of you home.

"Luckily nobody was hurt and damage was kept to a minimum due to the fast actions of a passer-by calling 999 to alert us to the fire."