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Firefighters say a woman had a “lucky escape” after she re-entered her burning home to try and put out the blaze with buckets of water.

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The 78-year-old suffered smoke inhalation and had to be taken to Queen’s Hospital, Romford, by ambulance.

It is believed last night’s fire in Balgores Square, Gidea Park, was started by an electrical fault in an extension socket.

The blaze damaged per cent of the woman’s second-floor flat and 21 firefighters from Romford, Hornchurch, Wennington and Harold Hill spent more than an hour getting it under control.

London Fire Brigade’s borough commander for Havering, Chris Drew, said: “This lady had a very lucky escape. When she discovered the fire she went back inside the flat to try and put it out with buckets of water herself. Our advice is always to get out, stay out and call 999.

“We don’t believe this lady had a smoke alarm, either. It’s absolutely essential that you have a working smoke alarm in your home and test it regularly. They can buy you vital seconds to escape in the event of a fire.”

Do you know the woman or those who helped her? Contact the news desk on 020 8477 3903.

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