Two young children and a 35-year-old woman were lucky to escape serious injury when fire broke out at a flat in Dover this morning.
Quick-thinking neighbours raised the alarm after seeing smoke coming from a window and firefighters led the three to safety, treating them with oxygen before an ambulance took them to hospital.
A spokesman for Kent Fire and Rescue said: "We think the blaze was started by the little boy, aged six, who probably set light to paper with a cigarette lighter.
"We would like to remind all families to keep matches and lighters away from young children. They can think they are playing with a toy."
Two fire crews from Dover were called to the flat in Marjan Close, St Radigund’s and found the woman, the boy and a four-year-old girl still inside the building.
Firefighters said the three were frightened by the smoke. It was expected they would all make a full recovery.
The 35-year-old and two children were believed to come from Eastern Europe and watch manager Jamie Muddle used the Kent Fire and Rescue translation phone service to help talk to the woman.
Crews were at the flat for about an hour and said the rooms were only slightly damaged by fire, although had been left blacked by the smoke.