Portsmouth woman in her 30s flees arson attack as lit rag put through Southsea flat door

A WOMAN fled her home after a ‘lit rag’ was put through her door in an arson attack.

Sunday, 10th October 2021, 1:05 pm
Updated Sunday, 10th October 2021, 2:41 pm

Police are investigating the incident at a ground-floor property in Crabbe Court, in Southsea after the woman, in her 30s, had to flee.

Neighbours heard an ‘argument’ and ‘hammering on the door’ before the blaze broke out at the four-storey residential block.

Two crews of firefighters and a fire officer were sent to the blaze after the fire started between 12.10-12.30am on Sunday.

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Police and fire investigation staff at the flat in Crabbe Court. Picture: Emily Turner

Crews tackled the living room blaze. No-one was injured.

Residents in Crabbe Court told The News they saw several emergency vehicles near the flat in the early hours of the morning.

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Portsmouth police outside Southsea flat after blaze broke out in ground floor

Police have told cordoned off the flat. A single window pane is boarded up.

The flat is being guarded by police. Picture: Emily Turner

Officers were guarding the entrance to the flat as a fire investigation vehicle arrived on the scene at about 10am.

Police were going door-to-door around the close, asking for eyewitnesses and CCTV footage.

One neighbour, who did not want to be identified, said: ‘My son heard an argument, and then it sounded like someone was hammering on the door.’

Another said she ‘isn’t surprised’ by the police investigation due to similar issues in the area in the past.

Several residents told The News that the incident is one of a number of disturbances which have happened in the close.

Chelsea Cooper, who has lived in a nearby road for two years, said: ‘There are always problems (in the area), it’s an ongoing issue at the moment.

‘It’s typical – doesn’t surprise me.’

She added that she is ‘100 per cent’ stressed by the pressure of raising children in the area, and said: ‘I can’t even send my kids to the park, there’s continuous fights, just horrible.’

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said there were no fatalities in the blaze.

Fire crews were at the property until around 1.11am.

Officers want to hear from anyone with CCTV or who saw people acting suspiciously.

A police spokeswoman said: ‘Officers are keen to speak to anyone who may have witnessed anything suspicious or has any information that could help our investigation.’

Anyone with information should call police on 101 quoting 44210406660.

Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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