Man escapes without injury from Portsmouth flat fire

BLAZE The scene at Ponsonby House, St James Road, Somers Town.
BLAZE The scene at Ponsonby House, St James Road, Somers Town.

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A MAN who was sleeping in his first floor flat when a severe fire broke out has escaped unharmed.

The drama happened at a flat in Ponsonby House, St James Road, Somers Town, at 4.51am.

The occupant was awoken by his smoke alarm and managed to get out of the four-storey building safely before calling the emergency services.

Firefighters checked on the safety of other people in the block, but there was no general evacuation.

Three crews from Southsea were called to the incident and used three jets and a hose reel to tackle the blaze.

The 14 firefighters cleared the area of smoke and made the scene safe before leaving the incident at 6.44am.

Southsea Crew Manager Alex Hay said: ‘The male occupant was sleeping when he was awoken by his smoke alarm.

‘He called the fire brigade as soon as he got out of the flat.

‘We brought the incident under control and checked the surrounding flats for smoke damage, but it was contained to the flat where the fire started.

‘We believe it started in the lounge area, but are not sure how. A fire investigation crew is on scene to determine the cause.’

Dean Dolman, 32, who lives two doors away from the damaged flat on the first floor of the building, said: ‘I was woken by the blue flashing lights and the sirens.

‘Then a fire officer knocked on the door and asked if there was any smoke damage in my flat, but there was none.

‘It’s not every day that you get woken by a fireman in a mask in the middle of the night! ‘I looked out and could see smoke billowing from the door of the flat. I was concerned, but they told me it was okay and I trusted that.’