Woman rescued from Southbourne flat fire

A woman was rescued from a fire, believed to have been caused by a cigarette, in her Dorset flat.

Dorset Fire and Rescue was called to the property in Southern Road, Southbourne, at about 21:00 GMT on New Year's Day.

Three crews used breathing apparatus and hose reels to tackle the blaze in the smoke-logged flat.

The woman was led to safety and taken to hospital suffering from the effects of smoke inhalation.

Christchurch station manager Dai Jones said: "The cause of this fire is believed to have been unattended smoking materials.

"As a fire service, we can't say don't smoke but we can say if you're going to smoke, please, please ensure that everything is extinguished into a suitable container before you go to bed or fall asleep.

"In this case, the occupier has had a really lucky escape. It is such a sad start to the year to have smoke and fire damage to your home and possessions, and this can be easily prevented."

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