60 firefighters called to blaze at Portsmouth flats

Fire and ambulance crews attend fire in Somerstown block of flats. Photo: South Central Ambulance Service

Fire and ambulance crews attend fire in Somerstown block of flats. Photo: South Central Ambulance Service

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Dozens of firefighters were called to a blaze in a block of flats in Portsmouth this morning.

Emergency services received the call around 4am, after a severe fire broke out in a 13th floor flat at Handsworth House in Somerstown.

A number of residents inside the complex were evacuated from the building. The resident of the flat where the fire started was not believed to be home at the time.

A South Central Ambulance Service spokesman said five firefighters were treated by ambulance officers for heat exhaustion at the scene and one was transported by ambulance to the Queen Alexandra Hospital. He said he believed two further firefighters were taken to hospital but they were not transported by ambulance.

An additional 30 residents were assessed for smoke inhalation with two taken to hospital by ambulance.

Fire crews have extinguished the blaze. Significant damage has been caused to some of the building.

The cause of the fire is to be investigated.

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