Man arrested after Gosport hostel fire

The Society of St James Hostel in Brockhurst Road, Gosport.
The Society of St James Hostel in Brockhurst Road, Gosport.
Louis Makai. Picture: Sussex Police

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A MAN has been arrested on suspicion of arson after a blaze at a hostel.

The fire was in the back bedroom of a flat in a three-storey building in Brockhurst Road, in Gosport.

The 45-year-old man, from Gosport, was arrested on suspicion of arson.

He was questioned and later bailed until July 25, pending further enquiries.

Firefighters from Gosport and Fareham fire stations were called at 10.40pm on Wednesday.

Seven people were evacuated from the building, which is run by The Society of St James, but nobody was rescued.

Five needed treatment at the scene for smoke inhalation.

Two appliances from Gosport and one from Fareham attended with a total of 16 firefighters.

Firefighters said the blaze started from an unattended tea light on top of a television.

Watch manager Glen Stone, said: ‘The fire started in the third floor of the building by someone who left tealight candles unattended.

‘The bedroom was severely damaged by fire.

‘Two-thirds of the building was affected by smoke.

‘The television had melted on to the chest of drawers so the plaster was off the ceiling.

‘The bedroom and the bed clothes were smoke damaged.

‘But what made the difference was that there was an open window so it was ventilating.’

Jane Thomas, 66, is staying in a family home near the hostel.

She said: ‘We were all in bed but we could hear people running up and down the stairs.

‘I looked out the window – they cordoned off the road.

‘There was an ambulance and three police cars.

‘They put them across the 
road so the traffic couldn’t run down.

‘I think it was confined to one apartment – there’s a television in the garden that looks like it’s burnt.’

Other nearby residents said they saw smoke come from the windows during the fire.

Call police on 101.