A TEAM of Hampshire policemen have been hailed as heroes after saving an elderly woman trapped in her blazing home.

The bravery of four Romsey police officers – a Sergeant, two PCs and a Special Constable – and fire crews has been praised after the woman, believed to be in her 80s, was led to safety from the inferno.

The fire completely destroyed the woman’s house, which was situated in the grounds of Stroud School, in Highwood Lane, Romsey.

The homeowner was rushed to hospital after suffering from smoke inhalation, but she escaped without lifethreatening injuries.

Hampshire Constabulary Acting Inspector Adam Edwards from Eastleigh Police Station said: “I was immensely proud of four officers who were involved in rescuing an elderly resident from a house fire in Romsey on Saturday morning.

“Their brave and selfless actions epitomised the values of our organisation.

They displayed real courage and compassion, protecting a vulnerable member of the community they serve.

“I would also like to extend my thanks to the Hampshire Fire officers who placed themselves in mortal danger to extract the resident.”

Detectives have now launched an arson probe, with their inquiry focusing on a fire-damaged vehicle that was parked alongside the house.

Officers were called to the scene shortly before 7am on Saturday, as smoke billowed from the detached twostorey property.

More than 50 firefighters were also deployed to the scene, including crews from Romsey, Eastleigh, St Mary’s and Redbridge. The special equipment unit and two water carriers were also called into action.

Three jets, two hose reels and six breathing apparatus were used to control and extinguish the fire, which had been put out just after 10am.

Station Manager Mickey Smither, who was in charge, said: “The fire spread very quickly throughout the property. We had a shortage of water supply at the early stages of the fire because the hydrant supply was weak, which hindered fire fighting slightly.

“However, crews worked hard to run the hose reel, requested for the water board to increase the supply and immediately mobilised two water carriers.”

Detectives from Eastleigh CID are now appealing for information from anyone who was in the Highwood Lane area between 5am and 7am on Saturday. Contact Eastleigh CID by phoning 101, or calling Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.