Disabled woman left with serious burns after Portsmouth blaze

RESCUE The block of flats in Cosham where the blaze happened. Picture: Malcolm Wells (13622-2493)
RESCUE The block of flats in Cosham where the blaze happened. Picture: Malcolm Wells (13622-2493)
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A PENSIONER was left severely burned after being engulfed by flames in a horrific fire at her home.

The 60-year-old woman was in her ground-floor flat, in Glenleigh Avenue, Cosham, when the blaze broke out in the bin, close to the chair she was sitting in.

It is believe it was started by a discarded cigarette which smouldered.

Luckily, a neighbour heard her smoke alarm going off and called 999.

A crew from Cosham fire station was at the property within minutes.

Although they were initially told the flat was empty they broke in and discovered the woman, who is disabled, in her chair, which was engulfed by flames.

Firefighters lifted her out and gave her first aid until she was handed over to paramedics.

After initially being taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, she was later transferred to the specialist burns unit at Salisbury District Hospital, Wiltshire.

She has severe burns to most of her body.

A neighbour, who did not want to be named, said; ‘We had just got back from the shops when we saw all the emergency services outside, it looked like a crime scene.

‘The lady who lives there only moved in about two weeks ago. One of my neighbours saw her being brought out on a stretcher and she was covered in silver foil which I think was for the burns.

‘It’s a terrible thing to happen. Just awful.

‘We all hope she gets better soon but she must be very badly injured. I feel very sorry for her.’

Cosham fire station manager Bruce Gordon said: ‘There is no question the quick thinking of both the member of the public who raised the alarm and the first crews on the scene prevented a more serious situation.

‘The caller’s actions allowed us to get to the scene quickly and the crew’s decision to act as if there was a person inside the flat meant we were able to rescue the lady before the fire developed any further. This incident again proves the benefit of a working smoke alarm.

‘Without it, the member of the public would not have been aware of the fire inside the lady’s flat and we would not have been able to reach her so quickly.’

The fire began at 2.50pm on Friday.