NEIGHBOURS have spoken of the dramatic moment that a fire broke out at a home occupied by an elderly woman.
Crews from Havant and Cosham fire stations were called to the house in Shipton Green, off Kemshott Court in Leigh Park, just after 1am yesterday morning.
The woman had to be rescued after the fire engulfed her home, leaving her trapped in her bedroom with a pillow at the door in a bid to stop smoke from entering the room.
Forty-two-year-old Jenny Cooper lives next door to the house and had to get herself, her partner and her five children out after being woken by police.
She said: ‘My daughter Lauren sleeps downstairs and heard something going on.
‘There were a few bangs and she texted me saying she thought next door was being burgled.
‘Then the police knocked on our door and told her we needed to get out because there was a fire next door, and it wasn’t safe to stay inside.
‘She could smell the smoke, which had started to fill the house, and that’s when she ran upstairs and told us.’
‘As a mum you don’t really have time to panic, I just wanted to get my kids out.’
Ambulance and police crews also attended the scene, and officers offered to get Jenny’s family a van to sit in further up the road because they were unable to use their car, which was blocked by a fire engine.
Jenny added: ‘My mum and stepdad came to pick us up and we went to stay there for the night. We couldn’t go back because of the smoke.’
The fire is believed to have started in a dishwasher in the home, and saw the occupier treated for smoke inhalation.
Mary Jones, 73, lives opposite the house. She said: ‘My granddaughter heard the fire engine and woke me up – it looked awful. From our side you could see smoke rising up over the house. It was terrifying. I’m just glad to know she is okay.’