A young veterinary nurse suffered severe burns when her hair went up in flames as she blew out a candle.
Emily Fairbrass leant over to put out the flame when one of her long blonde locks caught fire.
The fire rapidly spread across the 25-year-old’s head, face and neck and Emily ran in agony to the bathroom in a bid to stop the burning.
She then rushed to her neighbours’ house who covered her burns while emergency services were called.
The harrowing ordeal unfurled when Emily, from Sittingbourne, in Kent, was at her home on the morning of December 10.
She said: “I can honestly say my neighbours Janice and John saved my life. I have sent them flowers and chocolates, but words cannot say how much I owe to them. I cannot thank them enough.
“All of a sudden I was surrounded by firefighters and ambulances.”
Paramedics took her to Hospital and she was transferred to a specialist unit in East Grinstead, West Sussex to be treated for second and third degree burns to her face, neck and head.
She was discharged after four days but still has to return for her wounds to be dressed.
She said: “I just kept shouting ‘my hair, my hair’. I had lovely long blonde hair. It is the only real thing I like about myself.”
Emily, who has worked as a trainee for four years, said: “I would also like to thank my work colleagues, family and partner.
“It all happened so quickly. I never knew something like blowing out a small candle in my dining room could result in this.
“It hasn’t put me off lighting a candle, but especially at this time of year, I would like to thank others.
“If you are going to have candles then be very cautious where you put them and just be cautious.
“If I can stop this happening to someone else then that will be amazing.”
She added: “I love my job and if I could I would go back tomorrow. But I am told I can’t risk infection.
“I have also got to face the emotional and physical side of things.
“Staff at East Grinstead have been absolutely amazing and I have a lot of support around me. And my hair is gradually growing back.”