A MOTHER has told how her life flashed before her eyes as she escaped with her family from a house fire.
Sally Noble was downstairs cleaning at her home in Brook View, Greater Leys, Oxford, at about 10am on Monday when she heard the smoke alarm.
After checking all the rooms in the house and finding no fire she went back downstairs – but about 10 minutes later noticed smoke coming from her bedroom.
Arming herself with a bucket of water to fight the blaze, she opened the door, but was beaten back by the flames.
Last night, the 30-year-old recalled rushing to escape with her three children Kyle, 12, Harry, four, and Jack, two, before going back for the family’s 11-year-old dog Sheba.
Speaking in her smoke-damaged bedroom she said: “When I opened the door a big ball of flames came rushing towards me.
“It was so hot, it felt like when you open the oven door and you’re cooking something really, really hot.
“I slammed the bedroom door, ran downstairs and called 999. I think my life flashed before my eyes. I didn’t believe what I saw. I just slammed the door and ran downstairs screaming: ‘get out, get out’ and got the kids.
“I went back to get the dog and we sat outside until the fire brigade turned up.”
It is thought a lamp toppled on to a bed and the heat from the bulb sparked the fire.
Miss Noble was yesterday beginning the clean-up with partner John Busson, 40, and assessing the thousands of pounds worth of damage to the upper floor of her four-bedroom Oxford City Council-owned home.
She said: “I was not frightened myself, I was more worried about getting the kids out of the house.
“It wasn’t until afterwards that I thought ‘oh my God, what if I wasn’t anywhere in the house? What if it was in one of the kids bedrooms?’ “I didn’t even know the lamp was on. The only thing I can think is that one of the kids knocked it or the dog came in and knocked it. I don’t think it was faulty.
“My bedroom is totally unhabitable, the plaster has blown off the walls from the heat, the windows are cracked and the door burned. The rest of the upstairs is smoke-damaged.”
Miss Noble advised anyone with bedside lamps to make sure they were secure and to use low-energy lightbulbs which do not heat up as much.
Marcus Mabberley, spokes-man for Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said 10 firefighters were called to the house at 10.25am and were faced with a “well-developed fire”.
Watch manager Shaun Betts said: “The fire was discovered at an early stage due to a working smoke detector and the fire and smoke damage was limited to one room because of the quick-thinking actions of the occupier who closed the door when she discovered the fire.”