Southsea woman, 90, tackles bedroom fire in flat

Police outside student accommodation in Stanhope Road, Portsmouth on Friday Picture Ben Fishwick

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A QUICK-thinking 90-year-old managed to put out a fire in her flat.

The woman’s electric blanket caught fire during the night and she dashed to the bathroom sink to douse the smoking blanket and bed sheets.

Firefighters were called to the flat on the 10th floor of Tower House, Clarendon Road, Southsea, at about 12.30am on Saturday.

Four fire engines from Southsea and three from Cosham were called out as this is the procedure whenever there is a blaze in a high-rise block of flats.

By the time they arrived, the fire was out.

Rob Dellow, watch manager at Southsea fire station, said: ‘When we got there the flat was full of smoke. She was outside with a little bit of a cough.

‘She did very well to put the fire out, but we would not recommend people to do that.

‘The fire only got to the bed sheets. She’s very lucky.

‘That could have gone catastrophically wrong. If you come across a fire, shut the door, get everybody out, and dial 999.’

The woman was treated by paramedics for smoke inhalation.

The woman’s son, who lives on Hayling Island, later arrived to look after her.

Mr Dellow said the fire was a pertinent reminder that electric blankets need checking every year.