A woman escaped after a blaze ripped through her home in the middle of the night.

The woman was uninjured in the fire, though firefighters said it was lucky she was awake when the blaze broke out as the battery had been removed from the home’s smoke detector.

Firefighters said the blaze was caused by overloaded and overheated plug sockets, and spread after a real Christmas tree caught fire. 

The house, on Regency Drive in Weymouth, is said to be ‘uninhabitable’ following the blaze which happened on Friday night.

Three fire crews from Weymouth and Dorchester were called to the house at around 11.40pm.

Pictures from the scene show that one room has been completely gutted, with all other rooms suffering severe smoke damage and being left blackened by the fire.

A spokesman for Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue (DWFRS) said ‘severe damage was caused to the living room’. 

The fire service also noted that the occupant had taken the battery out of the smoke detector, and that it was fortunate she was awake at the time.

Nearby residents recall the woman running out of her house and shouting for help as the fire broke out. 

One neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: “It’s completely devastated in there. 

“All the front windows are blown out. [The fire] went all up the stairs. 

"You could see the smoke coming out of it. 

“Luckily enough the garage is a bedroom and she was in that one as her son wasn’t there.”

Another resident who asked to remain anonymous said: “I heard her shout for help so I made sure my children were okay and then went to check the houses either side to make sure they were al lright. It was terrifying.”

As part of its Christmas safety campaign, the service has warned residents against overloading electrical sockets and has been reminding people to regularly check their smoke alarms and make sure they are working. 

Residents are also urged to check their Christmas lights are switched off before they go to bed.