Woman rescued from Leigh Park flat fire after falling asleep while cooking

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A WOMAN was rescued from a burning fifth-floor flat after falling asleep while cooking.

Firefighters had to smash the door down at Chichester House in Leigh Park to get to her.

She was treated for smoke inhalation but neighbours said it could have been much worse.

Keith Brigham, who has lived there for three years, said: ‘It is frightening what could have happened.

‘When I went outside there was a lot of people about, including firefighters as they weren’t sure where the fire was.

‘If they had had to use water then we could have had flooding in the building which could have created more damage.’

Another neighbour Abbie Gilbertson woke to find flashing lights coming from outside her flat.

She said: ‘I went out on to my balcony and saw smoke coming from the flat upstairs.

‘I didn’t know how it had started at the time but my neighbour has been on Facebook apologising for what happened.

‘It was lucky that she didn’t have her son there.’

The woman’s uncle Barry Triggs, who lives close by, said: ‘She came home, put some food on, and forgot about it.

‘I woke to hear the fire alarm but it was faint so I thought it was coming from across the green.

‘I then heard my neighbour banging on her door, that’s when I got up.’

Fire crews from Havant, Emsworth, Southsea and Cosham went to the fire at 2.20am.

Four fire engines, an ambulance team and police were at the incident.

A spokesman for Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said: ‘The fire had burned out by the time the crews arrived but one woman was helped to safety by firefighters.’

During the incident a number of residents decided to leave the block for their own safety.