A MOTHER has been left stunned after a nearby bonfire spread to her flat, causing severe damage.

Toni, who lives in Greenwoods in Whitchurch, was sitting in her living room with her 14-month-old child when a neighbour sounded the alarm.

"I saw flames going through my garden gate, up to the side of the fence, just going up above the roof. I panicked, and ran out the flat and quickly called 999," she said.

The mother-of-two has only lived in the area since November after moving from South Ham in Basingstoke. She looked on in disbelief as the fire service quelled the blaze and made a hole in her roof to get it under control.

The fire service said the fire was caused by a bonfire which spread out of control.

The blaze jumped from the bonfire to fence panels, onto a shed before it reached Toni's bedroom.

The bedroom has been badly damaged and it is not known whether Toni will be able to return home or will have to find accommodation elsewhere.

“I don’t know if I’ll be able to go back in,” she said. “I don’t know what I’m going to do. My mum lives in Basingstoke but she’s a nurse for the NHS. The rest of my family are in London.”

Resident Donna Rigby, who has lived on the road for 19 years, said she fears it could have been much worse, had people not been working from home.

"In the week, there are commuters parked along both sides. You would not have been able to get a fire engine down there. I dread to think how bad it would have been."

A spokesman for Hampshire Fire Service warned against people lighting "unnecessary" bonfires.

Fire commander Frank said they could be dangerous. He also advised against lighting barbecues. "It can be dangerous. I suggest having a cold picnic instead," he said.