PEOPLE have told of their horror as an elderly woman rushed out of her home to escape a fire while smoke billowed from her first-floor flat.
Video filmed by Cyril Walder.
Audrey Toms was inside her home in Wilmott Close, Gosport, when her television caught on fire setting her lounge curtains ablaze.
The fire quickly spread through the living room, destroying the ceiling and devastating the lounge.
Relatives were yesterday picking through the 64-year-old’s belongings as she was in hospital undergoing X-rays and checks for smoke inhalation.
Her brother Gavin Barclay said: ‘Her daughter rang me and said there’s been a bit of a fire.
‘It was totally ablaze. The whole road was shut off. It was quite a mess.’
Firefighters in four appliances rushed to the flat at 4pm on Sunday. Yesterday they confirmed the cause of the fire was the woman’s TV.
Crews had to access fire hydrant to get more water to tackle the blaze. They broke a back window to access the flat.
Ms Toms was in the kitchen when the fire started but heard the smoke alarm and rushed out when she saw the fire.
Neighbour Cyril Walder, 69, heard the Ms Toms’ smoke alarm sounding and went outside to see.
He said: ‘I did hear a bang, which we presume was the telly.
‘It was fierce. When I first went out the gate I saw a small amount of smoke coming out the window.
‘Then it got thick black smoke. The windows flew out.
‘Then it was thick acrid smoke. It went up into the roof.
‘The smoke was right the way up into the next flat.’
He added the flames melted the roof fascia.
The inside of the flat has been damaged by smoke and the lounge ceiling has been destroyed, exposing the roof rafters above.
Fred Heggarty, 54, lives in the flat beneath.
He said: ‘We were escorted away from it because they were scared of the roof coming off.
‘Next door neighbours just come out and said “get out there’s a fire”.’