Arson probe after firefighters tackle 16th-floor blaze at Portsmouth high-rise

Handsworth House in Somers Town. Picture: Ian Hargreaves
Handsworth House in Somers Town. Picture: Ian Hargreaves
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Arson investigations are underway after firefighters tackled a blaze on the 16th floor at a Portsmouth high-rise block of flats.

Smoke filled the corridor on the floor at Handsworth House, in Somers Town, after a pile of clothes were set alight.

Eight crews and an aerial ladder platform attended the blaze, in Quinton Close, at 12.20am this morning.

Crew manager Simon Lovelock said: ‘The crew that went in were faced with the 16th floor completely smoke logged.

‘You could see the smoke from outside coming outside the bin chute area.

‘The fire itself was on the floor on the 16th floor lobby area.

‘Some items were left in that area and set fire to, which caused extensive damage to the 16th floor lobby area.’

No-one was evacuated or injured in the fire as the building’s fire doors and smoke strip seals kept the smoke within the lobby area.

Mr Lovelock added: ‘It’s dangerous to start fires deliberately.

‘We will have a fire engine or a couple of fire engines back to day to do some community work.

‘We will do some reassurance work on the 16th floor itself and either side of it.’