A MAN was killed when fire engulfed a bungalow in Waterlooville.
He died despite the efforts of a neighbour who tried to fight the fierce blaze with a hosepipe as firefighter raced to the scene.
Five fire engines were sent to the blaze in Haslar Crescent around 3am today.
Crews say the property has been destroyed. An investigation has started into what started the fire.
Emergency services are at the scene making the area safe.
Havant white watch firefighter Paul Wilkinson was one of the crew who went in to the blungalow using breathing apparatus to see if anyone else was inside.
‘There were no other occupants inside,’ he said.
‘The property was 100 per cent destroyed by fire. The roof had caved in.
‘The incident is now in the hands of the police.’
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Gary Elston confirmed that a neighbout has tried unsuccessfully to extinguish the fire as it took hold.
The blaze was starting to spread to the roof of the property next door before firefighters got it under control.
‘It was a very intense fire and crews worked very hard to stop it spreading any further than it already had’ said Mr Elston.
‘Crews were met with arduous conditions and a fully developed fire. Firefighters entered the property wearing breathing apparatus and used jets and hose reels to extinguish the fire.
‘Sadly, even though crews arrived promptly, and quickly tackled the severe fire, one adult male could not be saved. Our thoughts are with the deceased’s family at this difficult time.’
Today firefighters erected supports inside the building to stop it collapsing as investigators sifted through the bungalow.
One resident, who did not wish to be named, said: ‘The fire was so intense it was unbelievable.
‘There were dark, red flames.
‘I had come outside to see what was going on because the police and fire service were here.
‘It really went to town. It looked like the heart of the fire was coming from the front right hand window, but at the same time it was burning at the back.’
It took nearly three hours for fire fighters to put out the blaze. Pictures taken by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service show the difficulty firefighters faced in cotrolling the inferno.
David Hodge, station commander at Havant fire station, was in charge of the scene.
He said: ‘We believe a neighbour fought the fire with a garden hose but unfortunately the intensity of the fire would have pulled him back very quickly.
‘It was a severe fire, so for him to have a go was a very brave act.’
Five fire appliances were deployed from Waterlooville, Cosham and Havant, along with an aerial ladder platform from Southsea and a special equipment unit from Cosham.
A dog was outside the bungalow at the time and was taken unharmed to a local animal rescue centre.
A police tape was put in place blocking part of the road but was later lifted.
A South Central Ambulance Service spokesman said: ‘We were called at 03:04 this morning to reports of a house fire on Haslar Crescent, Waterlooville.
‘We sent an ambulance, an ambulance officer and our Hazard Area Response Team.
‘Sadly, one person was confirmed deceased at scene.’
A Hampshire Police spokesman said: ‘At this stage we are not in a position to confirm further details relating to the identity of the deceased. Formal identification procedures have not yet taken place.
‘Safer Neighbourhoods officers will be conducting house to house enquiries in the area throughout the day.
‘Anyone with information which may assist the investigation should contact District CID at Havant police station on 101. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.’