A HORRIFIED hair salon owner has praised the efforts of firefighters and students who helped save her business from being burnt to the ground.
Bekki Bradley – who has owned Nevaeh Hair, in Albert Road, Southsea, for 11 years – was alerted to the blaze developing in an electrical box of her ground-floor business by a student in the flat above.
Stunned, Bekki immediately called the emergency services and rushed outside to warn neighbouring businesses of the situation.
Within moments, Albert Road was awash with fire crews, with five from Southsea packing into the street.
Crews quickly extinguished the small fire, caused by an electrical fault, before engineers isolated the power.
Speaking of the incident this afternoon, Bekki said: ‘This could have been devastating. If the student had not have come down to warn me, this fire could have gone on for ages and I wouldn’t have known.
‘I gave him a big hug and said “you saved my life”. I said he gets free hair cuts for life.’
Jenni Catlow, who owns the Tango Tea next door with her husband Geoff, also came to Bekki’s aid, providing an extra fire extinguisher.
She said: ‘We were just so lucky it wasn’t worse. The firefighters were amazing.’
Bekki added: ‘The response from the fire service was unbelievable. They were here within seconds.’
When crews arrived, they said the electricity box in the salon was ‘smouldering’. They used a dry powder extinguisher to put the fire out and a fans to remove smoke from the flats above.
Crew manager Richard Furse said: ‘It was the student above that raised the alarm. They saw smoke come into their flat from below.
‘They then went down and told the woman in the hair salon about it. That’s when she discovered the fire.
‘It could’ve been more serious, especially if it happened at night with people in their beds. It would have also taken us longer to find it too.’
The incident took place at 3.40pm. Crews left at about 4.30pm.