A woman who fled her home in the early hours of this morning (Friday February 8th) did ‘exactly the right thing’, according to a Western Isles fire chief.

The woman was woken just before 3.30am by what she thought was noise from the wind, but as she went towards the back door of her home in Tong, her smoke alarms started to sound and she realised there was a fire developing in the back lobby.

Fire Scotland group manager Gavin Hammond said: “She did exactly the right thing – she got out, closed the door and called the fire service.

"Because of her actions, and because her smoke alarms were installed and working, she was able to escape what became a serious situation.”

Three fire crews, from Stornoway and Shawbost, were called to the scene to find that the fire, in a semi-detached property owned by Hebridean Housing Partnership, involved the electricity supply.

Residents of the neighbouring house were evacuated with the help of police officers and Scottish and Southern Electricity engineers disconnected the supply to make the area safe.

Mr Hammond said: “This was quite a challenging situation because of the power supply issue and there was extensive damage to the property, but because of the resident’s prompt and sensible actions, no-one was injured.

“We realise that it was very frightening and distressing for her, but from our perspective the most important thing is that she is safe and well.”

The woman was looked after by police and HHP representatives and is being temporarily re-housed while her home is made safe and renovated.

Mr Hammond said: “It’s a timely reminder to everyone to make sure you have a working smoke alarm and test it regularly. If you need a fire safety check, call us at Stornoway fire station on 705051 or ask for a free home safety check via our website at https://www.firescotland.gov.uk

“And if you do have a fire at your home please follow the example of this lady – get out, stay out, call the fire brigade out.”

Pictures show Fire Scotland team members at the scene (SFRS).

This report has been extensively updated since first being posted - update at 15.35, Friday