Cosham family’s panic as fire tears through sheds

The fire in Cosham. Picture: Steven Le Petit via Twitter
The fire in Cosham. Picture: Steven Le Petit via Twitter
Cheltenham Road. Picture: Google Maps

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NEIGHBOURS have spoken of their terror as a fire engulfed their back gardens.

The blaze, which was started by an out-of-control bonfire, wrecked the sheds and fence panelling of three houses.

Gas cylinders stored in one of the sheds exploded and the fire spread quickly.

The residents were left standing in the street as 40 firefighters tackled the blaze in Knowsley Road, Cosham, Portsmouth.

Kayleigh Williams, her husband James and their two young sons were woken by people shouting.

They were afraid that their house was on fire and it was only when they were outside they realised it was in their back garden.

But her two sons, James, five, and Oliver, three, have been left shaken up.

Kayleigh said: ‘My eldest son saw the fire from his bedroom window and with all the noise and panic of trying to get out of the house, he was quite distraught.

‘Even the next morning, he was anxious and we considered staying with a relative.’

Kayleigh added: ‘I woke to shouts of “fire” which was coming from the front of the house and saw this orange glow coming from the windows.

‘I immediately thought our conservatory was on fire so my husband and I grabbed the boys and ran outside.

‘That was when we saw it was the fence in our garden that was alight.

‘Next door’s shed and fencing was on fire.’

Kayleigh said that she couldn’t thank the fire crews enough for helping to keep her two young boys calm.

Firefighters from Cosham, Southsea, Havant and Portchester attended on Sunday night at 11pm and had to clear an alley between the two houses to get to the fire.

It took around three hours to put the blaze out.

Henry Hepp, 70, who also lives in Knowsley Road, heard the cylinders exploding.

He said: ‘It was late in the night so I didn’t know why there were bangs. I could see flames reaching the tops of the houses and lots of smoke.’

A spokeswoman for Hampshire Fire and Rescue said they weren’t investigating the incident and confirmed that it was caused by a bonfire that had not been put out properly.