A mum trying to give up smoking by using an e-cigarette returned home on Saturday afternoon with her two young children to find it on fire.

It is believed the blaze, which started in the kitchen of her house in Awdry Road, Devizes, was caused by the e-cigarette overheating while it was charging.

Devizes Fire Station commander Pip Flower said: “This is the first fire like this that I have heard of around here but there have been quite a few nationally in the past few months.

“It is very important that the right connection is used to charge them and they are not left unattended.”

It is believed that sparks from the device went on to nearby laundry and it caught fire.

Luckily next-door neighbours James and Liz Moffat were in the garden just after 3pm celebrating their son’s birthday when they heard the smoke alarm sounding and saw smoke inside the house.

They rang 999 and the fire service was quickly on the scene.

Mr Moffat also rang his brother Nathan, who lives on the other side of the damaged house, who was at a party with his wife Natalie and their children.

Natalie Moffat said: “My husband went straight home as we were very worried about our elderly dog Maisie who was in the house.

“Smoke from the fire got into our roof space and the firemen had to fumigate it. It was very lucky the fire was spotted as quickly as it was as otherwise our house could have been badly damaged. The firemen said it wouldn’t have taken long for it to have spread.

“Katie, whose house it is, turned up soon after the firemen. She had only taken her two children out for a quick bike ride. I think she had only bought the e-cigarette a few days beforehand as she wanted to give up smoking.

“Katie has been back since and says she has lost everything in the fire. She is now staying with a friend.”

She has a son aged eight and a daughter of four. Two young cats owned by Katie were not believed to have been in the house when the blaze started.

Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service said this fire was the first it had attended involving an e-cigarette. It is now warning people not to leave e-cigarettes on charge for long periods.