Dog 'started Braintree house fire by turning cooker on'
A dog accidentally turned on a cooker which started a fire and has left its owners' home uninhabitable, fire fighters said.
Three people had to be treated for the effects of smoke as a result of blaze fire in Braintree on Tuesday evening.
Essex Fire Service say the dog died in the fire. The family's two pet rats were rescued by fire fighters.
The fire destroyed the kitchen and left the rest of the semi-detached house in Templar Road heavily smoke damaged.
A fire service spokesman said: "The fire is thought to have been started accidentally by the occupant's dog who had jumped up at the cooker and turned the cooker on.
"Items left on the cooker then caught light. The house is no longer habitable."
The owners returned home to find the house on fire and went in unsuccessfully to try and rescue the dog.