THIS WEEK IN 1982: Family escaped blaze at Leigh Park home

THIS WEEK IN 1996: Southsea beaches miss out on blue flag

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A Leigh Park family of five escaped death by scrambling to safety from an upstairs window as fire ravaged their home early today.

Mark Restall clambered out of the window onto the plinth above the front door, and helped his wife, Yvonne, and children Tania, five, Clare, four, and Sabrina, two, to the ground and away from the blaze in Hordle Road.

But they were unable to save their pet dog, Carla – an Alsation-Labrador cross – who died upstairs as flames swept through the house.

Andrew Hoar, 18 – Mr Restall’s brother, who lived next door – described the scene after fire had broken out at about 3AM.

‘My girlfriend’s mum woke up because she heard a loud bang. She looked outside and Yvonne was handing the children down to Mark on the ledge.

‘Mum telephoned the fire brigade, but sadly the dog was trapped in there.’