Did cigarette cause devastating house fire?
A CIGARETTE is believed to be the cause of a devastating house fire which has left a 55-year-old woman in a critical condition in hospital.
Emergency services raced to Fetter Hill on Sunday and fire crews spent five hours dousing the flames, which have left the house little more than a shell.
Neighbours said Lesley Tickner, who was airlifted to hospital in Swansea, had not long moved back to the area and spoke of their shock at what had happened.
Paramedics were told she had jumped out of a window to escape the inferno.
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Yesterday, workers were at the house in the small hamlet near Coleford, attempting to clear up the worst of the damage. One neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: “It’s a real shock. I think everybody’s feeling the same here, just that she makes it.
“Any community would be the same, we just wish the family all our very best and hope for good news.
“I didn’t see much of the fire but I heard two lads on bikes, who had actually got a bit lost, were the first on the scene and called 999.
“Lesley’s a nice woman – I know her to say hello to and we have the odd chat, I just hope for the best.”
Another neighbour in the secluded spot added: “The air ambulance was here before the road ambulance. She was being treated outside for about an hour, covered up in blankets, before they took her away.”
It’s not clear if Lesley lives alone or with her children.
“I think she lived with her son and daughter but I think her son just recently got his own place in Coleford and I’m not sure about her daughter,” the neighbour added.
“They’re nice people, I don’t know them that well and it wasn’t that long ago they moved in. I think they’re originally from the Forest but have been away and come back to the area.”
Investigations are continuing into what caused the blaze, which spread through the first floor and roof of the cottage.
However, it is believed a lit cigarette may be to blame.
Emergency services arrived on the scene at about noon on Sunday. Fire crews from Coleford, Lydney and Cinderford were called in and a specialist water carrier, loaded with 12,000 litres, was called in from Cheltenham too.
It wasn’t until almost 5pm that crews left and the road was closed throughout.
A spokesman for the ambulance service said two rapid response vehicles and the air ambulance were on the scene.
“A woman in her 50s was in a critical condition suffering burns,” she said.