Four men and a woman were taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation after an inferno engulfed a Sheffield house.
They were in a shared house on City Road, Norfolk Park, when the blaze broke out at 7am yesterday.
Firefighters say three people escaped the blazing terrace house but two were trapped in the alley next to the house unable to get past the flames shooting out of a ground floor window.
Firefighters led them to safety and all five were taken to hospital.
A man and woman living next door were also taken to hospital after inhaling smoke which had seeped into their home.
Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, said she saw a man dragging a burning television out of the house and she advised him to get his housemates out of the property and to close all the doors.
She said when she returned home a short time later she was amazed to see the extent of the damage.
She said: “I saw a man outside the house trying to drag a burning television outside by pulling on its cord. The TV was in the porch at the time and I told him to get all the others out of the house and to close all the doors inside.
“I assumed the fire would be out in a matter of minutes so I was amazed when I came back home later in the morning to see that the house was totally destroyed.
“I don’t know what happened but we did hear the television crackling so maybe it exploded.
“I saw someone hanging out of a bedroom window while this was going on and I heard screaming from inside the house, too.”
Watch manager Jeff Simpson, of Mansfield Road fire station, said an investigation into the cause of the blaze is under way.
He said: “When we were 200 yards away we could see thick black smoke and flames coming from a ground floor window – the house was well alight.”
“Three people had managed to get out and two were stuck in a gennel after being beaten back by the flames and smoke, so we led them to safety by acting as a barrier between them and the fire.
“The cause of the fire is under investigation.”
Police closed City Road between Granville Road and Fitzwalter Road, while firefighters dealt with the blaze.
Officers examined the scene with firefighters once the house was deemed safe to enter.