A SHAKEN mother has praised her neighbour for saving her life in a blaze at her home.
The woman and her two teenage children fled the property in Winchester Road, New Milton after Sabine Szemruk screamed to raise the alarm.
More than 30 firefighters battled to bring the blaze under control at 1am this morning. The fire gutted the first floor of the semi-detached home.
The householder, who does not wish to be named, said she and her 16-year-old daughter were in a downstairs room when the blaze started above them in a front bedroom.
She told the Daily Echo: "If it had not been for Sabine I dread to think what would have happened – she’s a heroine. She was running around outside screaming and made sure we all got out in one piece.”
"We have no home because it’s completely ruined but at least we all got out alive, even the cats."
Sabine lives in the adjoining property with her husband and two children, aged eight and two-and-a-half.
Sabine said: "I was watching TV and I heard noises that sounded like the house next door was being burgled.
"There was a banging noise but then there was an explosion. I opened the window and looked out and saw the smoke.
"I ran out of the house and just started screaming, my neighbour hadn't even noticed but she came out and panicked because her son was still asleep upstairs in the back bedroom.
"We all shouted and managed to wake him up and he came out of the house."
The first floor was destroyed and the ground floor has severe smoke and water damage. The property next door also suffered smoke and water damage.
The householder is not allowed in the property until inspections have been carried out by the local authority. She and her neighbour are staying with friends.
Ten sets of breathing apparatus, two jets, two high pressure hose reels and positive pressure ventilation fans were used.
Thirty-six firefighters from New Milton, Brockenhurst, Lymington, Redbridge and St Mary’s attended.
The cause is currently being investigated.