A PENSIONER is still recovering in hospital a month after suffering horrific burns when a gas explosion ripped through her home.
June Pickering’s condition is improving in Frimley Park Hospital having been dragged from her burning bungalow by neighbours.
But two of her dogs died in the incident after being buried in the rubble.
The Yorkshire terriers, who were sisters, would have been eight earlier this month.
Miss Pickering’s other dog, a four-year-old long-coated chihuahua called Leo, miraculously escaped the blast.
He is doing well having had stitches in his foot, which was crushed.
Leo also suffered singed fur and shock and is being looked after by Hart dog warden Lynn Byfield, who is regularly visiting Miss Pickering in hospital to keep her spirits up.
Lynn also gave Miss Pickering a surprise on New Year’s Eve when she took Leo in to see her.
“She was out of bed and sitting on the chair when we went in,” said Lynn.
“It really did make her day and put a smile on her face. She was very happy and emotional.
“I now regularly take Leo in because it really helps to lift her spirits.
“I am currently in a foster situation with Leo and he has taken to my bitch Barney very well.”
Firefighters from Fleet and Rushmoor raced to Miss Pickering’s semi-detached bungalow in Bowenhurst Road, Church Crookham, at 5.25pm on December 23.
They gave Miss Pickering, who is in her 70s, emergency first aid before she was rushed to hospital.
The explosion blew open the front of the bungalow, causing major structural damage.
Jo Wright, Miss Pickering’s neighbour, said: “We heard a bang and thought ‘what the heck was that?’.
“We could see fire coming up from the roof and there were roof tiles on our path.”
A bay window from the front of the bungalow was blown 25 yards away but amazingly the adjoining property escaped undamaged.
It is expected that the building will be pulled down in the near future but it is currently boarded up.
Mick Sheehan, sub-officer in charge at Fleet fire station, said it was the second fire at the bungalow which they had attended in a year.
His men went there to a kitchen fire in March when a chip pan was left on.