Attempt to fix statue leads to blaze at Titchfield Common house

DRAMA The house in Churchill Close, Titchfield Common where a fire took place
DRAMA The house in Churchill Close, Titchfield Common where a fire took place

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QUICK actions from a neighbour helped save a home from being destroyed in a late-night fire.

The blaze took hold in the front room of a house in Churchill Close, Titchfield, Common after gases from a glue aerosol were set alight by flames from a coal fire.

Ian Harris and his son Wayne Harris had been trying to fix an ornamental statue at about 11.20pm on Tuesday when the accident happened.

Mark Jones lives opposite and was alerted when Kirsty Harris, Wayne’s sister, came running across the road to ask him to alert the emergency services.

Mr Jones, 45, said: ‘I thought it was just going to be a little fire, but I ran back over the road to see if I could help while my wife was on the phone to the fire service.

‘Everyone was already outside in the back garden.

‘Wayne was running through the back of the house with buckets of water and throwing them into the lounge.

‘There was all this thick black smoke – it was so thick you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face.’

Mr Jones joined Wayne as they made repeated runs in an attempt to bring the blaze under control.

He added: ‘If the flames had taken hold, they would have reached the top half of the house and they would have lost everything. Wayne did a brilliant job and I’m sure his dad is very proud of him. I’m just glad everyone is OK.

Two fire crews from Fareham and one from Gosport were called to the detached property.

Fareham watch manager Jim Stone said: ‘As we went to the incident, we had an update to say there were children in the upstairs of the property and the fire was downstairs. When we got there all the occupants – two children and four adults – had managed to get out.’

Firefighters were there until 2am

Mr Stone added: ‘The glue is very flammable and the gas went back to the fire, which ignited very quickly.

‘Everyone was very lucky to get out, as the fire developed very fast.’

Crews say the ground floor of the home has been severely damaged by the fire, while the rest of the property has suffered from smoke damage.

Wayne, Kirsty and her two children, a three-year-old girl and a nine-year-old boy, were taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, to be treated for smoke inhalation, but have now all been released.

Mr Stone said: ‘We would like to remind people that when using this sort of glue, they make sure they are in a well-ventilated area.’