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Two women were described as “lucky” after they woke up during a small electrical house fire.

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Fire crews from Hornchurch and Harold Hill arrived at the smoke-filled semi-detached house in Ashvale Gardens, Cranham, at about 4am this morning.

Two women of about 40 were waiting outside for the firefighters, who at first could not detect the source of the smoke.

It was found using thermal imaging cameras as coming from electrical cables underneath the floorboards – which may have been chewed on by rats or mice and then set fire to debris.

The women were fine and the damage was minimal, but watch manager Soundy said it could have been worse.

“They were a lucky that it hadn’t developed to more and that they woke up,” he said.

Crews left the scene at 5.30am.

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