NEIGHBOURS described how a fierce blaze tore through a two-storey Oxford house.

Firefighters were called to a terraced property in Plantation Road, Walton Manor, at 12.30am yesterday.

They were confronted by a blaze which is believed to have started in an open fireplace in the house’s living room.

It took 10 firefighters in breathing masks around four hours to put out the blaze and the building was badly damaged by smoke and flames.

The property’s only occupant, a woman in her 50s, had escaped by the time firefighters arrived.

She was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital, in Oxford, suffering smoke inhalation.

The charred remains of a chair, television, books and pictures were removed from the house by the fire service.

Sheila Hallas, 64, lives opposite and said: “It woke me up and I went out straight away to find out what was happening.

“You could see the smoke and flames inside, it looked very bad.

“My main concern was that the woman who lives there was all right, but I hear she is recovering well.”