Firefighters forced their way into a house in Willaston to tackle a blaze after a 999 call reported smoke billowing from the back of the premises.
At about 5.25pm yesterday, two engines from the Douglas station were called to Snaefell Road.
Domestic alarms were sounding inside.
Firefighters believed someone might be in the house and the police and ambulance were called.
Once they forced their way inside, crews found a smoke-logged house. The fire had been caused by an unattended pan left on the hob.
A fire service spokesman praised the actions of the neighbour in calling 999 after hearing the smoke detector.
He said: ‘It is important that domestic detectors are fitted, regularly tested and maintained in order to protect occupants and property from the potential devastating effects of a fire.’