Police hunt for Southsea flat fire arson culprit

BLAZE The scene of the fire
BLAZE The scene of the fire

Roof-running louts reported in Cowplain

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THE victim of an arson attack has thanked his rescuers – as police hunt for the arsonist.

Scott Dobson 37, was alone in his first floor flat in Festing Grove, Southsea, when he was woken by smoke from the flat below.

He immediately called the emergency services and an operator talked to him, giving advice and keeping him calm, until firefighters arrived.

They smashed the front bay window and pulled him out.

Mr Dobson said: ‘I’d really like to convey my most sincere thanks to the fire service and other emergency services involved.

‘Also I must thank the controller who was very helpful and guided me and stayed with me all through the ordeal until the fireman rescued me.’

Mr Dobson was treated for smoke inhalation at hospital.

The fire was started between 1.30am and 2.30am on Saturday in the empty ground floor flat.

Det Con Jim Garrett, of Fratton CID, said: We are treating this fire as suspicious. At this stage it is not clear how or why the fire started.

‘We would appeal to anyone who may have any information about suspicious people or activity in the area on Friday night and the early hours of Saturday morning to contact us with as much information as possible.’

Call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 with information.