Firefighters were called when a woman fell asleep after a night out drinking and left food cooking in the kitchen.
The call, to a flat in Coombe Lane, New Malden, came at 5.43am today after neighbours heard a smoke alarm and banged on the door.
Fire crews from New Malden and Wimbledon were called to the flat, as well as an ambulance.
New Malden watch manager Guy Pedliham said: “The fire itself was quite small but it produced a fair amount of smoke.
“The smoke alarm did what it was meant to do – a working smoke alarm saves lives.”
Instead of cooking after a night out, Mr Pedliham advised drinkers: “Have a kebab on the way home, or something.”