POLICE are investigating a blaze in which a woman was rescued from her burning home in Bournemouth.

The victim, believed to be in her 30s, was taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation, but has since been discharged.

The drama happened on Saturday morning after a doormat caught alight outside the first-floor flat in Charminster Road.

The doormat then set fire to the doorframe preventing the woman from exiting the Charminster property.

Crews from Springbourne, Redhill Park and Westbourne attended the fire at 9.10am, and were able to help the lady out of the house.

However, her three dogs had to be rescued from a first-floor window, with firefighters scaling a triple extension ladder to get them out of the property.

A spokesperson said: “The lady was led to safety by crews as she was nervous about going down the ladder.

“The location of the fire was near the front door.”

The fire was extinguished using two sets of breathing apparatus and two hose reel jets.

The cause of the fire has not been revealed by firefighters, but one local resident, who asked not to be named, said petrol was poured on the doormat before it was set alight, causing damage to the doorframe.

Nora Rebbetts, 23, said she moved away from the area because of anti-social behaviour.

She used to live opposite the property set on fire.

“I moved away because cars kept getting set on fire outside,” she said.

“I’d wake up because of a bright light outside, and it would be a burning car. I just didn’t want to live there anymore. It’s really scary to think this poor lady has had to go through this.”

Roy Barber, whose daughter lives in a neighbouring road, saw the arrival of the fire engines.

He said he believed the victim is a woman in her 30s.

“I didn’t see the rescue itself, but I saw the woman,” he said.

“She has three small dogs who needed to be rescued too. I didn’t see any flames, but there was a lot of smoke.”

The building is also home to Lauraflora florists, run by Laura Preedy.

She said: “We’re happy to say that the shop is still open to all of our customers.”