Fire safety checks offered after fatal blaze at Portsmouth flats

BLAZE Firefighters at Nickleby House on Monday
BLAZE Firefighters at Nickleby House on Monday
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FIRE safety checks are being offered at a high-rise block of flats following the death of an elderly man in a blaze.

Residents at 17-storey Nickleby House in All Saints Road, Buckland, were offered free tests by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service officers yesterday.

It followed the death of a 71-year-old man – who has not yet been named – after a fire broke out in his ninth-floor kitchen at 5.15pm on Monday.

His next of kin have been informed along with the Coroner’s Office. But last night the victim had not been formally identified. A post mortem has not yet been carried out.

The cause of the fire was last night still being investigated. It is not being treated as suspicious.

Andy Butler, community liaison officer at Southsea fire station, said: ‘We held a public reassurance morning at Nickleby House following the fire.

‘We gave people the chance to talk to us about fire safety and any other information they required. We also booked people in for fire safety checks in their flats if they requested this.’

Dozens of residents were evacuated after the blaze took hold.

But the majority were advised by firefighters – who quickly stopped the fire spreading – to stay in their flats.

Up to 45 firefighters from Cosham and Southsea were called.

Most of the crews fought the blaze from inside the building, although an aerial ladder platform was used to get to the flat from the outside.