A former glamour model and society girl, who fled a raging fire that destroyed a popular Battersea restaurant on New Year’s Day, said her life was saved because of a meeting with a celebrity tarot reader.

Sally-Anne Jones, pictured partying in 2004 with Richard Branson, escaped the burning building in York Road shortly before firefighters dramatically rescued two people from a third-floor window.

The fire gutted the restaurant and eight flats above, but Ms Jones said she was prepared for the event after picking the tower tarot card – which foretells of danger and illustrates people jumping from a raging fire – at a personal reading with Valentin Borissov the week before Christmas.

The tarot reader allegedly counts celebrities as clients and operates in Prince Albert of Monaco's "inner circle".

On his website Mr Borissov counts popstars and politicians as clients, and says he “operates within the inner circle of Prince Albert of Monaco”.

Ms Jones, 37, who has only met Mr Borissov once, said: “Valentin said to me these cards are not going to make sense now, but they will in time. Maybe it was the cards that saved my life.

“I had a premonition this would happen. I got the card with a tower with burning fire on it.

“I had nightmares for three days after the reading, and researched the card’s meaning.

“I knew something was coming and I kept dreaming I would lose my possessions. Now it has come true.”

The fire, which started in the kitchen of the Little Bay restaurant about 9.15pm, gutted the eatery and flats above – causing part of the four-storey building to collapse.

Ms Jones, who lived directly above the restaurant, and said she rang the fire brigade when she saw smoke coming out of her boiler.

She said: “I was sitting on my computer when I saw the temperature on the boiler rising.

“Smoke started coming out of it, and when I opened the door I was engulfed by black smoke.

“But instead of panicking, my first thought was about the reading, I knew it was coming – I ran for my life.

“[The smoke] was so thick, and the heat was hurting my face.”

Miss Jones, who is now staying at a hotel, said on Tuesday she was still coughing-up black smoke and was having trouble sleeping.

She said: “I keep having flashbacks to the incident.

“I am living in a hotel, I have been left with nothing.

“I had thousands of pounds-worth of clothes and jewellery in there, and my portfolio of work “Once the cards were dealt, it was going to happen.”

More than 40 firefighters from Battersea, Chelsea, Clapham, Tooting and Wandsworth fire stations worked through the night tackling the fire, which was under control by about 7am the next morning.

A spokesman for Little Bay, which opened in 2003, said it would take months for the restaurant to re-open.