AN elderly woman has died after being pulled from a burning building in Christchurch.

The victim died in hospital this morning following a blaze at a terraced property in Purewell yesterday.

She was helped from the property, opposite The Buttery, by a member of the public.

But her next of kin have now been informed of her death and an inquest will be held by the Dorset Coroner at a date to be fixed.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation but it is believed to have started accidentally.

Woman dragged out of burning building in Christchurch

A spokesman for Dorset Police said today: "Dorset Police received a report at 1.01pm on Monday 8 March 8 of a property fire in Purewell in Christchurch. Officers attended to assist the fire service with traffic control.

"An elderly woman was taken to hospital in a serious condition and her next of kin was made aware. She very sadly died in hospital during the morning of Tuesday 9 March 9. The coroner has been notified."

A cordon was put in place to allow for an examination of the scene to be carried out.

Around 35 firefighters attended in six fire appliances from Christchurch, Springbourne, Redhill, Westbourne, Hamworthy and Ferndown.

Two ambulances and a number of police officers also attended and the road was cordoned off from Purewell roundabout.

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Drivers were asked to avoid the area due to the large number of emergency vehicles at the scene.

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service group manager Richard Coleman said they received a call to a "persons reported fire" at 12.56pm.

"A woman was rescued from the building by a member of the public who pulled her outside and started giving her medical treatment," said Mr Coleman. "The ambulance service arrived and took over."

Six sets of breathing apparatus and three hose reel jets were used to extinguish the fire.