Firefighters were called to a bungalow fire after a schoolboy raised the alarm.
The youngster was walking past the home in Kingsbury Close, Marks Tey, at about 4pm today, when he saw smoke pouring out of the property.
Watch manager Ian Ryder, from Colchester fire station, said: "He ran home to tell his mum and she raised the alarm.
"Today at school the young lad had been learning about fire safety and he put all that he had learnt today into practice, he did exactly the right thing by alerting his mum to the fire so she could call the fire service."
Fire crews discovered a pan had been left on the oven unattended, creating a large amount of smoke.
Mr Ryder said: "Without the quick thinking and actions of this young boy, raising the alarm so quickly, the fire could have easily spread throughtout the bungalow and next door."
The fire had been extinguished by 4.20pm.