An elderly woman who called a friend for help because she could smell burning died in a blaze at her Southsea basement flat.
Neighbours repeatedly tried to rescue Ann Crowther, 70, after fire broke out in the front room of her Kent Road home.
But their rescue attempts failed when they were beaten back by fierce smoke and heat.
The blaze was believed to have started in a chair the woman was sitting on at about 5pm. Firemen said a dropped cigarette may have been to blame.
The alarm was raised by neighbour Pat Snape after the woman telephoned her and complained of smelling smoke.
Mrs Snape rushed from her home in nearby Southsea Terrace to Kent Road to find the flat on fire.