Families flee homes after fire rips through former Gosport pub

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SEVERAL families were forced to flee their homes after a fire broke out in a former Gosport pub.

Twelve people escaped a building made up of flats formerly known as The White Swan after flames ripped through a communal area on the ground floor.

While a number of other people got onto the roof through a smashed window before getting down themselves.

Firefighters from Gosport and Fareham were sent out to the incident, in Forton Road, at 2.55am.

Residents inside had put out the fire before they arrived using buckets of water, but remained trapped inside as smoke swamped the stairways.

So fire crews got in and ventilated the whole building so the 12 residents - which firefighters were made up of ‘several families’ could get out.

A number of occupants were treated for smoke inhalation before being looked over by medics from South Central Ambulance Service.

No-one needed hospital treatment.

Police and fire officials are now carrying out an investigation into the cause of the incident.

Gosport watch manager Sean Ratcliffe said: ‘There was a small fire in a communal lobby area on the ground floor, which one of the residents dealt with using a bucket of water before our arrival.

‘On arrival, nobody was left on the roof as they had self-rescued.

‘One of the residents broke a window to get out on the roof to get down.

‘We were told several people were still trapped in the upstairs flats, including three adults and three children.

‘There was light smoke in the communal stairways.

‘Rather than get them down and go through smoke on the stairs, we left them in their flat, then the remaining crews used positive pressure fans to blow the smoke out. And they were escorted out of the premises.’