A hungry dog started a kitchen blaze when it accidentally switched on an electric hob while jumping to reach its food.
The owners found their oven ablaze when they returned home from the school run.
Firefighters arrived at James Road, Braintree, on Friday to find the family safely outside and put out the flames.
William McGrath, of Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, said it could have been a “different outcome” if the family had been delayed coming home.
“They had got out, stayed out and called 999, which was absolutely the right thing to do,” he said.
He warned people to keep all kitchen surfaces clear when not in use and to turn off hobs and ovens at the main switch.
The fire, which had not spread to surrounding cupboards, was put out by 15:55 GMT.