The woman killed in a Chiswick house fire has been identified as animal lover, Jane Lamb.

Miss Lamb, 42, died in the early hours of Saturday morning after her home in Esmond Road set-a-light just before mid night.

Her five cats are also thought to have died in the fire.

Neighbour Marina Weedon, 64, who has lived next door to Miss Lamb for 40 years said: "She was a lovely friendly girl who enjoyed life. I am still in shock, it's so awful. She was a good neighbour, they were a lovely family, private - but friendly.

"This little area of Chiswick will be in mourning now, it's such a shock to everybody."

Mrs Weedon, a part time cleaner, told how Miss Lamb enjoyed travelling and "always had a tan", regularly visiting Greece at least once a year.

Around 30 fire-fighters and six fire engines were called to Miss Lamb's house after a neighbour smelled smoke and raised the alarm.

Miss Lamb, who is believed to have worked for British Transport Police, was found unconscious on the ground floor and later died in Charing Cross Hospital.

She was living on her own after her mother Dolly Lamb, was very recently moved to a care home after she suffered a stroke.

Mrs Weedon arrived home from a night out at 2am on Saturday to find her road blocked off as fire-fighters from Chiswick and Acton stations attempted to tackle the blaze, which damaged the roof and loft conversion.

"At first I thought it was my house and I panicked, then I realised it was Jane's and was told she had been taken to hospital. I asked if I could go in and get the cats but they wouldn't let me; we presume they are all dead, my son saw one in her back garden – I didn't want to look.

"I didn't find out that Jane hadn't survived until later on Saturday, I was thinking how she wouldn't want to be lying in hospital, how she would want to be home to see what had happened to her house.  Then I found out – it was a horrible shock."

Jane leaves her brother Billy and her mother Dolly.

A fire brigade spokesman said: "The cause of the fire is under investigation."

A police spokesman said: "Next of kin have been informed, but we await formal identification.

"The cause of the fire is being investigated by LFB and Southall CID is liaising with the Brigade. The fire is being treated as non-suspicious."

A post mortem is being held today at Uxbridge mortuary.