A 23-year-old woman has been taken to hospital with smoke inhalation following a kitchen fire caused by a pot left burning on the stove.

Firefighters were called to a ground floor flat in Albert Road in South Norwood at 3.40am today.

The occupant had apparently started cooking food in a pot in the kitchen, but had forgotten about it before heading to bed.

Steve Mewett, blue watch crew manager at Woodside fire station, said: "She woke up smelling it, and she must have panicked.

"She took the pot outside, but she had breathed in quite a lot of horrible, acrid smoke.

"We had to give her oxygen and call London Ambulance when we arrived because she was in a bit of a state."

Mr Mewett added: "Don't try and investigate what has started a fire and don't attempt to put it out.

"Call us immediately - we're there in four or five minutes with breathing apparatus. Leave it to us."