A FATHER and son had a lucky escape after a portable heater malfunctioned and sparked a small flat fire.

Crews from Caversham and Wokingham Road were sent to Stratheden Place, off Weldale Street, at around 6.30am on Saturday.

Paramedics were called as a precautionary measure after residents were alerted by the smoke alarm and the fire service was on the scene for around 30 minutes.

Geoff Wright, crew manager from Caversham Road, said: "Two crews attended after reports of a flat fire.

"It was out on arrival and we believe it was caused by a short circuit in the electrical heater.

"The ambulance service did attend to check the father and son over for smoke inhalation but it was nothing too serious.

"This just goes to show the importance of having working smoke alarms, as it could have been a lot worse without them."