LONDON, Ont. -- An elderly couple escaped a fire in their southwest London home Friday morning, but it could have been a lot worse if not for the quick actions of neighbours.

Resident Ian Puppe was walking his daughter to school at Ecole Frere Andre when he noticed commotion outside of 259 Southcrest Drive near Baseline Road around 9:20 a.m.

He says he saw a lot of smoke coming from the basement and the next door neighbour, an elderly woman was attempting to enter through a side door.

He went to check it out and found another elderly woman inside on the main floor. He managed to walk her out to safety but she tried to go back inside. He would soon find out why.

“She kept trying to go back in and after a minute or so I saw some movement in the basement so I went in and there was an older gentleman and I helped him up the stairs and out the door and screamed across the street to the ladies at the school who were still outside and got them to phone the fire department and the police and the ambulance.”

The elderly man was reportedly disoriented as he tried to exit the home.

All four people were treated on scene for smoke inhalation. One person was subsequently taken to hospital for assessment.

Fire officials say the fire was quickly contained to the basement. The cause appeared to be cooking related. Damage is estimated at $60,000.

As for Puppe, he’s brushing off the heroics that may have helped save the lives of the elderly couple.

“It's cliche but you don’t really think. You just, you don't want anybody to get hurt.”

- With files from CTV London's Justin Zadorsky