NEIGHBOURS dramatically rescued a family of four as fire engulfed their Cowplain home.
Alan and Sarah Ackers and their daughters Charlotte, seven, and one-year-old Ella were all taken to hospital suffering from the effects of smoke inhalation after the drama in Curlew Garden.
Forty firefighters attended a blaze at 12.56am this morning. The house, which is in a block of seven terraced properties, was completely destroyed by fire.
Today, neighbours told of the terrifying moments when 41-year-old Mr Ackers and his 37-year-old wife clambered out of a window and onto the roof of the front-door porch with their children.
As the fire took hold, Charlotte jumped into a neighbour’s arms while another neighbour reached out of her bathroom window to lift baby Ella to safety.
Mr and Mrs Ackers managed to escape when neighbour David Betsworth put a ladder up to the porch.
The family were all taken to the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.
The two houses on either side suffered serious smoke damage, but firefighters from Havant, Cosham and Horndean managed to stop the fire spreading.
They battled the blaze until 3.05am with five fire appliances and an arial platform.
Officer in charge Station Manager Paul Coates said: ‘On arrival, the initial crews were faced with a very serious fire and flames coming out of the roof of the third house along a row of seven terraced properties.
‘They did a sterling job in tackling the fire and stopping it from spreading to the adjoining properties and firefighters were also dispatched work on the neighbouring buildings where the roof spaces were starting to smoke. This would have no doubt been a much more serious incident had it not been for everyone’s hard work.’
The fire service mobilised two appliances from Waterlooville, one from Horndean as well as two appliances and the special equipment unit from Cosham and the aerial ladder platform from Southsea,
The multi-role vehicle from Havant was also mobilised to assist together with command support crew from Portchester and the incident command unit from Eastleigh. A total of 37 firefighters and 3 officers were in attendance.
Volunteers on call with the Red Cross in Hampshire also assisted.
A Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said: ‘The Fire and Emergency Support Service team made their way to the incident to provide emotional and practical support to the residents of the adjoining properties who had been evacuated from their homes.
‘The FESS vehicle is kitted out with necessities such as a clothing bank, toiletries, a phone, documents and space for a team of fully-trained Red Cross volunteers to offer hands on help at the scene of the fire. As well as immediate assistance, the Red Cross volunteers can also contact a victim’s insurance company, arrange alternative accommodation, help to secure a property and sort out utilities.’