The Manhattan Fire Department says smoke alarms prevented a cooking fire from becoming more serious Thursday evening.

Officials say crews arrived to smoke in the third floor of the west Manhattan apartment building. When firefighters made entry into the apartment, they found a pan of burnt food on the stovetop with the burner still turned on. The occupant had left the food unattended. Smoke alarms alerted other residents to the burning food.

The fire department says the near miss illustrates the importance of being vigilant while cooking and having working smoke alarms.

The fire department celebrated its annual open house Sunday at its headquarters.

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