ELECTRICAL cables gnawed through by rodents sparked a fire in a Little Paxton home.

ELECTRICAL cables gnawed through by rodents sparked a fire in a Little Paxton home.

The wires into an under-floor electrical junction box had been chewed by rodents, blowing the power at the property in Bydand Lane and setting fire to nesting.

The owner of the house heard the power go out with a bang at around 9.10pm last night (Tuesday) and saw smoke coming through the floorboards on the first floor.

Two crews from St Neots attended, and firefighters lifted the floorboards and used a thermal imaging camera to investigate.

They discovered a rodent nest next to an electrical junction box connecting several cables.

Rob Robinson, watch manager at St Neots Fire Station, said: "It looks like the animal who was nesting there had chewed through a cable, which had caused the bang and set fire to the nesting.

"Fortunately the owner was in at the time and noticed, because the house did not have any smoke alarms. A small fire such as this can easily spread, particularly under the floorboards where it is dry.

"The best thing you can do to protect your home from a fire, no matter how it starts, is to fit a smoke alarm on every floor of your house."

Firefighters gave the occupants fire safety advice and returned to their station by 10pm.