FOUR homes have been damaged and their gardens - including sheds - destroyed after a fire spread amid scorching temperatures in Southall.
Firefighters were called to Woodlands Road, off Southall Broadway, at about 2pm on Tuesday following calls from the public.
Shanta Dutta, 85, was watching television when the fire started. She said: "Suddenly I heard this sound, almost like a volcano eruption. I looked out back and could see these huge flames. I immediately thought ‘My house is burning’."
Mrs Dutta, who lives by herself, was helped by her neighbours, who brought her out into the street and gave her water while she waited for her daughters to arrive.
She said: “My neighbours were very good to me, they brought a chair outside so I could sit down and they really looked after me. Everyone in the street was looking out for each other. But I was just so shocked by what had happened. I thought my house was going to burn down. Ambulance staff had to treat me for shock, but it’s also fortunate that no-one was seriously hurt."
Her neighbour Mohammed Rafiq, whose back garden suffered major fire damage said: “I was at work in Westminster when my partner called me to tell me there’d been a fire. I couldn’t believe it. I got home to see the whole of the backyard was engulfed in flames.
"We had an outhouse, which has been completely destroyed, and though we have building insurance, we don’t have contents insurance. We’d kept lots of valuable pots and similar items in there, but now we’ve lost them all, I’d say they were worth about £12,000. The main thing, though, is that no one was hurt, which is amazing considering how quickly the fire spread.
"We don’t know how it started yet, but when the temperatures are as high as this it doesn’t take much. Even if someone drops a lit cigarette, that could be enough to start a blaze."
A spokesman for London Fire Brigade said: “Firefighters tackled a blaze affecting some sheds and fencing on Woodlands Road in Southall on Tuesday afternoon. Four fire engines and 21 firefighters and officers from Southall, Hayes, Hillingdon, and Northolt fire stations went to the scene.
“An elderly lady was treated by London Ambulance Service paramedics for the effects of shock and heat. The Brigade was called at 1.58pm and the fire was under control at 3.55pm. The cause of the fire is under investigation."