NEIGHBOURS have relived the moment that a fire tore through homes – leaving one wrecked in the blaze.
Neighbours spoke of their horror as they witnessed the flames spread ‘astonishingly quickly’ before dialling 999, leaving them ‘deeply shocked’ at the damage they saw.
The blaze affected three homes in Corby Crescent, Anchorage Park – though the cause and exact starting point is currently being investigated.
Fire crews were called at about 12.15pm to the incident and Havant Fire Station commander Dave Hodge said it was lucky the fire did not spread to any of the other terraced homes in the set of eight.
Neighbours banded together to show their support as one of the occupants of the affected houses returned to her home, to find out it had been damaged and her dog injured.
Linda and Steve Williams live opposite the affected properties and saw the flames spreading. Linda, 66, said: ‘I smelt smoke at about 12.15pm, I thought it was a neighbour, I shut my door because I didn’t want smoke in the house.
‘And then we heard a bang, like scaffolding had fallen, and I rushed upstairs and that’s when I saw the flames out my window.
‘I rang 999 and I was panicking for everyone who lives there, I didn’t know who was inside.
‘The fire spread so quickly, the wind pushed it along and everything just started going up in flames in no time at all. The speed was astonishing.
‘I was worried about the woman in one of the homes – we ran round and managed to persuade her out of her home, she has breathing difficulties so everyone was helping her.
‘We sat her down and put a wet cloth over her head.
‘This is all about the people who have lost everything, it’s terrible.
Husband Steve, 68, added: ‘I’m not impressed by the way the building regulations seem to have worked. We waited about six minutes for the fire service and in that time the fire spread like crazy.’
Neighbours were out in the street offering firefighters and those in distress tea and water.
Another resident living opposite the affected properties, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: ‘As I came round the street I saw fire engines and started to panic.
‘But I’m just deeply, deeply shocked about what I’ve seen. The damage is absolutely horrific. I think if the direction of the wind was different it could have spread to our fence.
‘It’s really sad for everyone involved.’
Police and fire crews from Southsea, Cosham, Havant, Portchester and St Mary’s in Southampton attended the incident.
Mr Hodge said: ‘We’re investigating the cause at the moment. One house is completely damaged and the other two are partly damaged.
‘Our primary objective when we arrived was to ensure nobody was inside any of the properties as well as restricting the fire spread as much as we could, which crews worked really well to do – it could have been a lot worse.
‘We had about 40 firefighters and six appliances. A dog was rescued and taken to the vets, we were able to get our animal rescue specialist to the scene.’