AN ELDERLY man has died in a fire on the ninth floor of a block of flats.
Firefighters from Cosham and Southsea tackled the blaze in Nickleby House, a 17-storey building in Wingfield Street, Buckland, which started just after 5pm.
An aerial platform from Southsea was drafted in to get into the flat from outside. A special equipment unit and fire investigators were also called out.
The area around the flat, which included the entrance to Wingfield Street, has been cordoned off with police cars and blue and white police tape. Dozens of residents were evacuated.
Some of the residents, including young children in their pyjamas and dressing gowns, looked on as firefighters worked at the scene.
Brenda Askew, 62, who lives on the ninth floor, said: ‘I was just cooking my dinner. I heard the neighbours, they were trying to push the door of one of the flats open.
‘Then firemen came up and they told us to get inside and shut the door.
‘They kicked the door to the flat open and I saw black smoke come out. I was coughing. They knocked my door and asked if I was alright. They told me to go outside.
‘There was a lot of smoke in the corridor, it was scary.’
Residents were allowed back in at 6.45pm.