AN ELDERLY woman was hospitalised after a flat fire in Leigh.

A woman in her 80s was treated for smoke inhalation at Southend Hospital after fire broke out at her home in Leighville Grove, Leigh, at about 1.40am today.

The woman went to the toilet in the middle of the night to find towels and her bath on fire.

The woman managed to escape from the smoke-logged flat before crews from Southend and Leigh fire stations arrived.

Firefighters in breathing masks put out the fire then used a high pressure fan to clear the flat of smoke.

Sub officer Paul Copeland, of Leigh Fire Station, said: “She was quite shaken up. Neighbours helped her out.

“She was quite lucky because she didn’t have a smoke alarm.”

The fire service believes an electrical fault caused an extractor fan to catch fire.

Melting plastic dripped onto the bath and towels, which caught light.

The ten firefighters dealt with the incident within half and hour.