FIREFIGHTERS have issued safety advice after a lit cigarette sparked a fire on a balcony in Leigh.

Essex Fire Service crews were first called out at around 6.50am on Saturday to Elm Road.

They found a smouldering fire in a plant pot on a balcony and worked to extinguish it by 7.14am.

The fire was caused by a cigarette that had not been fully put out.

Crew manager Chris Seal said: “We’d urge everybody to ensure their cigarettes are properly stubbed out after smoking.

"Luckily for the residents, the damage was minimal and the fire was noticed quickly.

"However, things can change quickly when a cigarette ignites objects and it’s always worth just double checking your cigarette is put out before walking away."