SMOKE alarms stopped a flat from being badly damaged in a fire this afternoon.
Neighbours living under the first-floor flat in Washington Village called 999 after hearing the alarms going off at about 2pm.
Firefighters from Washington station found a microwave had burst into flames after being left on top of an electric oven hob.
The microwave was destroyed in the fire, also damaging the hob, which had been accidentally left on.
Two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus went into the property in Valley Forge, however a man in his 20s who was living there managed to douse most of the flames with a fire extinguisher.
Smoke was cleared from the flat using positive pressure ventilation fans.
Watch manager Les Tough, from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The good things is the smoke alarms alerted the people downstairs, or the fire could have caused massive damage to the flat.”