Small crew called to fight huge store blaze

211211 REMEMBER WHEN REP: CO''CAPTION: The Co-op store blaze in Fratton Road, Portsmouth, in July 1934
211211 REMEMBER WHEN REP: CO''CAPTION: The Co-op store blaze in Fratton Road, Portsmouth, in July 1934

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On July 20, 1934 a pitifully small fire brigade tackled one of Portsmouth’s biggest blazes when the main Co-operative Society store in Fratton Road caught fire.

The blaze started in an upstairs room and quickly spread to the rest of the store.

It was reported that within 30 minutes it was impossible to enter any part of the building.

Eventually dockyard and naval fire crews helped contain the blaze.

A new building was constructed on the site and opened in 1937, only to be destroyed by enemy action in 1941.