Oxford University students run for their lives as a terrible wildfire engulfs their villa in the Algarve
Seven terrified college friends had no choice but to run for their lives after wildfire engulfed their Algarve villa.
Ash fell into the pool while the group rushed to safety and frantically squeezed into a car to escape the raging flames that were closing in on them.
The group of friends flew out into the Portuguese sun for a week to celebrate their time in the University of Oxford To come to the end.
But in the early hours of July 14, things took a dramatic turn.
The group had flown to Portugal for a week to celebrate the end of their time at Oxford University
Forest fires had been raging about 1-2 km from their Airbnb villa near Quinto Verde for most of the day.
One of the group, Millie Farley, 22 from Wombourne, narrated BirminghamLive They were worried about sleeping through the night so they had set an alarm for 3am to keep an eye out.
This alarm could possibly have saved her life.
When the alarm went off, they looked outside and could see a “very small, seemingly insignificant bonfire-like fire” about 100m away.
Ms Farley said: “We decided to stay up and keep an eye on it to make sure it wasn’t a cause for concern.
At 3 a.m., they looked outside and could see a “very small, seemingly insignificant campfire” about 100 m from their villa near Quinto Verde
When they returned to the villa to collect their belongings, the ground was still smoldering
“After about 20 minutes of anxiously waiting, we got up to go back outside. The image that greeted me as I pulled back the curtains to open our patio door will stay with me for a long time – flames were literally less than 2m from my window, ash fell into the pool and the sky lit up a fiery orange To shine.’
She continued: “It was really terrifying.
“We screamed to wake everyone up and grabbed our passports as we ran out the front door to the car.
“Without hesitation, we drove down the road at high speed, seven of us crammed into a small Fiat Panda.”
The former modern languages student was really frightened by the sudden fires and immediately left the villa
As they raced to safety, Ms Farley said they were so concerned the fire would block the path, their only exit to the main road.
“Luckily we left just in time,” she said. “The fire quickly spread behind us, burning down trees and bushes in its path.”
About two hours later, the friends were told it was safe to return to the villa and get their belongings.
One of the group decided to fly home shortly after the morning’s dramatic events, but the six remaining friends agreed to stay in Faro before flying home on Friday.
Ms Farley, a former modern languages student, said: “There was no water or electricity as the wires were burned out, but we were able to pack our bags and go. The area surrounding the villa was completely blackened and the ground was still smoldering – we could hardly breathe through the smoke.
Ms Farley could see flames less than 2m from the window, ash falling into the pool and the sky lit up with a fiery orange light
“To be honest we probably could have stayed in the same villa because it wasn’t damaged by the fire and the groundsman wanted to fix the wiring. For us it was more the traumatic experience that prevented us from returning, the area is dry and barren – it’s a disaster that awaits us.”
Many celebrities were also affected by the dangerous forest fires.
Former Dragons’ Den star Duncan Bannatyne tweeted that he had been forced to flee his mansion on “a terrible day in the Algarve”.
Rebekah Vardy, who is vacationing in Portugal with her children, shared a video of a helicopter transporting water on her Instagram Story with the caption “These guys are amazing”.