QUICK-THINKING heroine Kelly Deville saved the life of her sleeping flatmate when a fire erupted at their home.
The 42-year-old was meant to be away for the week but instead found herself leaping to the rescue of her flatmate Matt Pickton who was fast asleep as flames ripped through the kitchen in their Havant flat on Sharps Road around 10am on Monday morning.
Fearless Kelly, who in another quirk of fate had just studied about fire safety for her job, knew exactly what to do after the inferno erupted.
It is thought the blaze ignited after a suspected faulty smart meter had fallen into a dry mop below before exploding into flames.
Kelly and Matt, 20, then banged on doors in the six-flat block to evacuate all inhabitants before Havant, Emsworth and Rushmore fire crews, as well as the Red Cross, arrived on scene to battle the fire - limited to just the kitchen after Kelly’s heroics.
No one was hurt in the blaze, with Kelly admitting she did not want to think about what could have happened. ‘It’s horrifying to think about it. I just did what I had to do,’ she said.
Speaking of the moment she realised there was a fire, she said: ‘When I came home I thought I could smell smoke - I thought toast was burning. Then I saw flames under the table in the kitchen so I quickly shut the door and then banged on Matt’s door and told him to “get up and get out”.
‘We evacuated all the flats and called 999. We’re lucky it didn’t spread.
‘The adrenaline was really going. Luckily I’d just done a course on what to do if there’s a fire so it was all fresh in my mind.’
Kelly also revealed how renowned deep sleeper Matt had prophesied such a scenario. ‘When I moved in he said “if there’s ever a fire you’ll have to save me as I’m such a deep sleeper”. I’m just glad no one was hurt,’ she said.
Matt said: ‘I was asleep and then next thing I know there is a smack on my door and Kelly is saying there’s a fire.
‘I threw on some clothes and ran out and then helped knock on everyone’s doors in the block to get them out.
‘I’m such a deep sleeper. I would have slept through it all.’
Matt’s partner Kloie Fitzwilliam, who also lives in the flat but was out working at the time, added: ‘No one told me at first because I’m pregnant - I found out on Facebook,’ she said.
‘I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I’m a bit shaky but pleased everyone’s ok.’
Kloie’s mum Clare Newnham, who is the landlady of the flat having owned it for four years, said they were told by firefighters the display linked to a smart meter had overheated before falling into the mop.
‘I wouldn’t use a smart meter ever again. I wouldn’t feel safe,’ she said.
A neighbour who was absent from the block when the fire erupted said: ‘I’m petrified now about my smart meter.’