‘Could have been fatalities’ in Portsmouth care home fire

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A BLAZE in a Portsmouth care home could have caused fatalities if not for the fire doors doing their job.

The fire started in a tumble dryer in the laundry room of Summerlands care home, in Villiers Road, Southsea, shortly before 11.10pm.

More than 25 people were evacuated from the home, which caters for vulnerable adults, and watch manager Jason Boh, from Southsea Fire Station, said the incident could have been a lot worse if fire doors either end of the corridor leading up to the laundry room had not been firmly secured.

‘The fact the fire doors did their job meant no smoke or flames were allowed to travel out of that area,’ he said.

‘If they had been open, we could have been looking at a much different situation.

‘It could have been much more severe and we could have been looking at fatalities as well.’

Watch manager Boh also said a clear route by road meant the three crews from Southsea were able to attack the fire effectively.

He added: ’We managed to put the fire out quite quickly and contained it to that room.’

Fire crews rescued six people from the fire, helped walk a seventh person out, and around 20 people were able to evacuate themselves.

Ambulances also attended and two of the seven people rescued were taken to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.

The laundry room was badly damaged by the fire, and there was also smoke damage in the corridor.

In addition to Southsea, two crews were sent from Cosham Fire Station, and a command unit from Portchester.

Fire crews left the scene at around 1.30am, after residents had been moved back into the care home. They were accommodated in another care home nearby while the fire was being dealt with.

The cause is currently being investigated.