A WOMAN watched in horror as a fire that started in a neighbour’s home spread to her own next door.

Lynn Arnold burst into tears believing she was about to lose everything in the blaze.

The fire, a suspected arson attack, started early on Sunday morning at the property in Beech Avenue, Pinehurst.

Lynn has lived next door for 34 years and the 57-year-old’s house has recently been renovated by Swindon Borough Council.

She believes the material used in the renovation may have saved it being destroyed completely.

The family will find out this week if they will have to go into temporary accommodation because of the damage to the top of the house.

Lynn recounted what took place on Sunday morning.

“I was downstairs at around 4am getting some fresh air as for some reason I just couldn’t get to sleep,” she said.

“I went back upstairs to try and settle and then all of a sudden I heard a banging noise.

“I couldn’t believe what I saw when I looked out of my window, there was a big ball of flames and I just screamed for my daughter Tiffani and her boyfriend Sam to get up and out of the house.

“We come running downstairs and tried to wake neighbours up by screaming and shouting, especially next door whose house was on fire.”

She added: “When I saw the guttering fall down off my roof, I thought my house was going to catch on fire as well and I burst into tears.”

The family had to wait five hours to be allowed back into the house to grab any possessions they needed.

Swindon Academy opened at 7am to help with the emergency and Lynn and her family were able to use the toilet facilities and have a hot drink.

They were able to go back to their home at 1.30pm.

Normally Lynn’s 11-month-old grandaughter, who suffers with laryngomalacia, a throat condition, would be in the house but luckily that night she was staying with an aunt.

A council spokesman said: “We’re extremely relieved that the occupants of the house affected by the fire appear to have escaped serious harm.

“The adjacent home was one of 213 non-traditional council properties in the area that benefitted from a £7.7m renovation and improvement programme.

“A major part of that included fitting new fire stopping materials between properties inside the walls and roof void to ensure fire cannot spread between houses. It would appear from this incident that the material did a great job in protecting our tenants and their home.”

A Gofundme page has been set up to help the victims.

To donate, visit: gofundme.com/ymdmc7-help-rebuild-lives.