Police launch an investigation after blaze at Portsmouth flat

PROBE Police investigate a fire in Eastney Road.     Picture: Allan Hutchings (112699-04)
PROBE Police investigate a fire in Eastney Road. Picture: Allan Hutchings (112699-04)

Winchester jail put in special measures

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THE cause of a blaze that ripped through a ground floor flat is being probed by police and fire officials.

Experts launched an investigation after the fire broke out in a terrace in Eastney Road, Eastney.

But last night it was still unclear how the blaze started.

The News understands that two people who live in the first-floor flat above it were in at the time.

However they managed to escape unhurt and their flat has not been damaged.

No-one was injured in the fire, which was reported shortly after 5.30pm on Sunday.

The blaze took three fire crews from Southsea just under half an hour to put out.

The surrounding area was cordoned off with blue and white police tape while the emergency services worked at the scene.

Nearby Reginald Road was closed and traffic was diverted from the scene.

Police Community Support Officers guarded the scene through the night and officers were still there when fire investigators arrived to try to establish the cause of the blaze yesterday.

Part of the pavement on one side of Reginald Road at its junction with Eastney Road was still cordoned off to stop people from getting to the back of the properties yesterday morning.

The cordon was lifted yesterday.

Ambi Ndlovu, 35, who lives opposite the house, said: ‘It was late afternoon.

‘I had been out cycling, I just saw the fire service and police outside the house.

‘There were about three fire engines, and there was smoke coming out of the front door.’

Stephen Hobbs, 39, from Reginald Road, said: ‘I got home just after 5pm and it was all cordoned off. The police were there all night. There was a police officer directing traffic.’

A spokesman for Hampshire Constabulary said: ‘A member of the public reported a house fire at Eastney Road.

‘I can confirm that no persons have been hurt as a result of this fire.

‘The circumstances are being investigated by the police.

‘There were road closures in the vicinity while the fire was dealt with by Hampshire Fire and Rescue.’

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Sergeant Jeff Huggett in Fratton CID on 101 or 0845 0454545.