A FAMILY was left terrified when a smoke bomb was set off inside a block of flats.
Firefighters have condemned a prank which made it seem as if James Howell Court, in Bere Road, Denmead, was on fire at 11.15pm last night.
Two fire crews from Waterlooville station attended the building and found a mother and two children with smoke pouring into their first floor flat.
After calming the family down they discovered the smoke bomb 20 minutes later inside a ground floor communal area.
Station manager Bruce Gordon said: ‘Not only has this been a waste of time for the firefighters and staff in our control room but other support staff in the fire service, and the police and ambulance service, who were alerted to this incident.’
‘Of course, it goes without saying that this would have undoubtedly caused undue distress and inconvenience to the occupants of the block of flats who were affected by this thoughtless act.
‘This has happened within twenty-four hours of a serious house fire in nearby Waterlooville that the Service attended.
‘Although no harm may be intended it could put lives at risk if our resources are being unnecessarily sent to a bogus job.’