Neighbours have paid tribute to an elderly woman who died in a house fire yesterday.
A woman in her 70s, named locally as Betty Jager, died in the blaze in Monksgrove, Loughton, which started shortly after 11.45pm on Monday.
Her husband, also in his 70s , Fred Jager, escaped the blaze and is currently in Whipps Cross Hospital in Leytonstone being treated for serious burns.
He is believed to be in a stable condition.
Patricia Pope has lived next door to the couple since she moved in to the property 41 years ago.
She said: “It’s a rotten shock.
“Betty was a lovely soul and happy and just a nice woman.
“You won’t find anyone with a bad word to say about her”
Another neighbour, Rosemary Barry, said: “It was a terrible shock and very very tragic.
“I liked her very much; she always had a smile and asked how I was.
“She was always very friendly and she was a good neighbour.
Vicky Gilman, who lives in a block of flats opposite the property, said: “It was like a scene from a horror movie.
“There was thick black smoke pouring out of the windows and it absolutely stank.
“We were really concerned for the couple living there.”
A total of three fire crews attended the incident and reported the house was 30 per cent alight and completely smoke logged when they arrived.