AN elderly couple were forced to flee their home in Seaham after a fire broke out in the kitchen.
Smoke alarms at the house in Eskdale Close alerted them to the blaze, which started after a pan boiled dry in the kitchen yesterday.
The couple, who are in their 80s, were upstairs at the time, but managed to escape from the house and neighbours called 999.
Crews from Seaham and Peterlee fire stations were at the scene for about 20 minutes.
Two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus went into the semi-detached property.
One hose was used to tackle the flames and a specialist fan cleared smoke.
The kitchen was left badly damaged by fire and smoke.
John Cuerden, crew manager of Durham fire station, which was providing cover for Seaham, said: “They did have smoke alarms in the property, which goes to show, they do work, so people should get them fitted if they don’t have them already.”