A kitchen blaze started after a candle was left unattended, Mitcham firefighters have said.

The fire took hold in a three-storey townhouse in Clairview Road, Tooting, at about 8.50pm, last night.

The family, two adults and three children, were on the top floor at the time but were able to get out of the house.

According to firefighters there was extensive smoke damage to the kitchen area after the fire spread to the refrigerator.

It is understood that the fire was able to spread as the house was not equipped with smoke alarms.