A SHAKEN mother has told how her neighbour saved her life when a fire started at her New Milton home.
The woman and her two teenage children fled the property in Winchester Road after "hero" neighbour Sabine Szemruk screamed to raise the alarm.
More than 35 firefighters battled the blaze overnight.
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.
"We have no home because it’s completely ruined but at least we all got out alive, even the cat."
Sabine lives in the adjoining semi-detached property with her husband and two children, aged 8 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 of the property was completely destroyed by fire and downstairs there has been severe smoke and water damage. The property next door also suffered smoke and water damage.
The householder is not allowed in the property.
10 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.