Young boy saved from caravan fire by his grandma

Portsmouth City Council leader Cllr Donna Jones

Portsmouth council leader demands £10m from government to fit sprinklers to high rises

An elderly woman saved her grandson's life on Christmas Eve when she carried him out of a blazing caravan.

The elderly woman, named locally as Peggy Novelle, is recovering in QA hospital from injuries she received in the fire.

Mrs Novelle is believed to have tried briefly to put the fire out, before carrying her grandson out, returning to save her dog, and then finally going back in to try and fight the fire one more time.

She was homeless over Christmas, as the brand-new caravan she was staying in at Southsea Holiday Park, Eastney, was her home.

Dave Boulter, a volunteer with the British Red Cross's Fire and Emergency Support Unit, praised the lady for her actions.

He said: 'The lady was quite plucky - she saved the life of her grandson.

'She was very, very brave.

'I salute her for what she did, and take my hat off to her.

'I think she deserves a big pat on the back.

'Of course she was very, very shocked when she realised what could have happened, but we were able to see her in hospital and give her some support.

'She will now be in the care of her family - that's what we make sure of, that no-one in this situation is left out on the street.'

It is understood her family live in the Portsmouth area, and she moved here from France to be nearer to them.

The fire started in the caravan but swiftly took hold, spreading to the awning and Mrs Novelle's parked car.

It is unclear how it started, and officers from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service are carrying out an investigation into it. The fire broke out shortly before 4am on Christmas Eve, and a crew from Southsea Fire Station spent two hours putting it out.

No other caravans or vehicles at Southsea Holiday Park in Eastney were damaged in the blaze.

An emergency support vehicle from Hampshire Fire and Rescue head quarters was on hand to give shelter.

A rapid response vehicle and an ambulance attended the fire, and were on hand to take Mrs Novelle to hospital.

A spokeswoman from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said: 'There will be a fire investigation to determine how the fire started.'

The holiday park manager was unavailable to comment.

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