Five people escaped when fire ripped through a Portsmouth house early today.
Three of those who escaped were rescued by firefighters. Two of them needed treatment for smoke inhalation, with one being taken to hospital.
The fire started at around 4am at a three-storey terrace house halfway down Ophir Road, North End.
Twenty-five firefighters from Cosham, Havant and Southsea battled to put out the blaze from 4,15am until 5am.
They used ladders to rescue a man from the loft space.
All five occupants escaped and two were treated for smoke inhalation at the scene, with one being taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital.
Neighbour Nick Stacey, 39, said: ‘I was woken up by the lads next door and by the time I came outside, the front window had come out and there were flames coming out if it. I thought I’d better get away from it. The front window had completeley gone and the fire brigade were coming down the road. I’ve no idea how it started.’
A woman who lives opposite, but did not want to be named, said: ‘I was watching it, you couldn’t miss it. I could see the flames leaping out of the front window and there was a lot of fire trucks here. Nobody was seriously hurt, thank God.’
A spokesman from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said: ‘The ground floor front room was severely affected by fire and six breathing apparatus, two hose reels and one jet were used to extinguish it.
‘All five adult occupants were accounted for; three were assisted to safety by HFRS and two self-rescued.
‘Crews from Cosham, Southsea and Havant, totalling 25 firefighters attended, along with three senior officers and support appliances.’
It is not known how the fire started and police are on the scene.
An investigation is expected to start today.