A BLAZE devastated a house in Whitley while the homeowner was out at the gym, firefighters have revealed.

Crews from Whitley Wood Road fire station were called to the scene in Ashmore Road after a next door neighbour heard a smoke alarm and called the emergency services.

Thick plumes of smoke filled the property by the time the crews arrived, shortly after 6.30pm, and fire officers quickly tackled the flames.

The homeowner returned home shortly afterwards and was left stunned to discover the extent of the damage to the house, which was caused by an electrical fault in the kitchen.

Crew Manager Rod Cook told the Chronicle: "We sent two appliances to the scene, one from Whitley Wood and one from Wokingham Road.

"The resident had gone to the gym and while he was out there was an electrical fault in the kitchen.

"There was a lots of smoke damage throughout the house, there were flames too but we managed to extinguish them quickly.

"The man was not too happy when he came home but the important thing was that he was safe and he was insured."