A MOTHER has spoken of her fear has she was rescued from a burning block of flats with her daughter.

Jo McGregor-Ritchie and her 12-year-old daughter Madison were rescued from the top floor on an elevated platform.

She spoke of her terror as she was woken by a neighbour to screams of "fire, fire!"

Jo said: "A neighbour banged on my front door and I ran to my kitchen to look and I could see smoke billowing out of the flat where he fire was.

"My only thought was I had to get my daughter out of the flat but I realised I could not get out of the front door because of the flames. If I had gone through the door they would have hit me in the face.

"I could also hear things in the flat where the fire was, like things exploding, and I heard the windows shatter.

"The firefighters told me to get to the furthest room away from the fire which was my lounge, and we waited there until they got us through the window on the platform."

Madison added: "I have calmed down a lot now but I was so scared at the time and I didn't know what was going to happen."

Jo, a 35-year-old teaching assistant, has been allowed back to the flat this morning to collect some personal belongings but has been told she will be re-homed by the council as the smoke damage to the property is too severe.

She added: "It is devastating. I managed to get some clothes and my purse but I cannot go back until further notice.

"It was a severe fire but luckily the flames did not get through my door, which just goes to show how strong they are.

"The firefighters were fantastic and did such a good job keeping everyone calm."

Jo took her daughter to her mother Chris's flat just yards away in the Northam estate.

Chris, 67, said: "I could see the flames from my window and you can imagine my horror. I could only think of my family. Luckily the fire service is so wonderful."

Jo has been told she will be moved to a hotel before a new permanent home is arranged.