A COUPLE fear they could have died after a mobility scooter caught on fire outside their home.

Anthony and Sally Jane Smith were alerted to the blaze by a group of boys on Thursday night.

The pair called 999 but when they tried to leave the house the fire was blocking their way.

Anthony, 58, said: “We could have been killed. If those boys hadn’t told us the blaze could’ve extended to the house because my scooter was just outside the front door.

“I’m really angry this has happened to us, my wife is also scared stiff.

“We are scared to go to bed at night, it shouldn’t be like this.

“I believe you have to love one another and look after one another.”

Mr Smith uses the mobility scooter to get around as he has a paralysed foot, spine damage and has had a knee replacement.

He said: “It’s my only way of getting around and if I don’t have it, I can’t go out.

“Crooks have tried to steal my scooter two or three times before and now I’ve got a lock for it.”

The incident happened at 7.15pm in Bayview Court, Stour Road, Harwich.

Emergency services attended the scene and investigated but believe the fire was an accident.

The blaze destroyed the mobility scooter, which was bought only three months ago and cost Mr Smith £5,500.

Mrs Smith, 61, who had a heart attack in 2011 which has left her disabled, said she could not stop shaking.

She said: “After the heart attack I developed asthma, so I had to calm myself down and to check my heart, my blood pressure and my oxygen levels.

“I just want to get out of here, because I don’t know what’s going to happen next.”

Norman Gooch, crew manager at Dovercourt Fire Station, said: “When the resident opened their front door and realised their mobility scooter was on fire they returned into their house to call 999.

“By the time they had got off the phone and attempted to leave their house the fire had grown in size - blocking the exit with fire and smoke.

“When our crews arrived we quickly helped the residents to safety, extinguished the fire and cleared the flat of smoke.

“Our advice on discovering a fire is to immediately get out, stay out, call 999.”

The house has suffered some smoke damage.