Alert neighbours and working smoke alarms have saved another Whanganui house from major fire damage.

Two neighbours rang Fire and Emergency to report smoke alarms sounding at a Harper St house about 3.20pm yesterday when the occupants were out.

"It was caused by a pot on the stove and there was minimal damage," senior station officer Shane Dudley said.

"It's a reminder not to leave cooking unattended but it can also be accidental - you can knock a switch and turn on the element.

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"It's also a good reminder of the value of working smoke alarms. We've had a few calls in the last couple of weeks where neighbours have heard smoke alarms and called us. The people who live here are thrilled neighbours heard them."

It was the latest in a string of calls to house fires in and around Whanganui.

On July 11 a neighbour raised the alarm when they heard smoke alarms, set off by unattended cooking, at a Smithfield Rd property.

Fire crews rescued the occupant of the house from his bed. That fire was also caught early and caused minimal damage. The same day there was a house fire at Nukumaru near Waitotara. Crews managed to contain it to one room.

A Quick Ave house was significantly damaged on June 27, possibly due to sparks from a chimney getting into a roof void.

A fire contained to two rooms and part of a roof in a Putiki Dr house on June 26 might have been caused by ashes removed from a fireplace. In that case, neighbours phoned emergency services after hearing a smoke alarm.