Firefighters tackle large blaze at Gunwharf Quays

BLAZE Smoke coming from Gunwharf Quays
BLAZE Smoke coming from Gunwharf Quays

Winchester jail put in special measures

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A MAJOR fire which swept through a Chinese restaurant at Gunwharf Quays is now out.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service were called to the Water Margin Chinese Restaurant at Gunwharf Quays at 9.15am to what was described a large blaze.

Fire at the Water Margin in Gunwharf Quays

Fire at the Water Margin in Gunwharf Quays

More than 30 fire fighters from Southsea, Havant, Wickham, an aerial ladder platform from Southsea and a special equipment unit from Cosham were sent to the scene.

Firefighter believe the blaze started in the ventilation system in the roof space at the Water Margin Chinese Restaurant.

Fire fighters wearing breathing apparatus tackled the blaze in the roof space.

Glenn Bowyer, of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said: ‘Fire fighters were quick to identify the risks posed by this incident and set up an exclusion zone whilst the fire was dealt with within the property.’

Residents took to social networking website Twitter after the fire broke out.

James Smythe tweeted: ‘The Chinese restaurant next to our work in Gunwharf is on fire. We’re assembled outside. Nice day for it.’

Jim Clews wrote: ‘Fire evac at Gunwharf Quays, site wide. Lots of smoke coming from the Water Margin! Climax people all accounted for and by Fire and Stone.’

One Twitter user, posting on as ‘Andy,’ tweeted: ‘You can hear the fire alarms at gunwharf [sic] in Gosport.’

Dave Hartley tweeted: ‘Water Margin is on fire in gunwharf [sic] large visible flames visible at top of the building.’

Stuart Wooster wrote: ‘Gunwharf is on fire’

A spokeswoman for the Queen’s Harbour Master said: ‘Harbour control saw smoke and raised the alarm.’ While a teacher from St Jude’s School in Old Portsmouth said: ‘It looks like a large fire. The smell is quite acrid and the smoke is very black. We are looking out towards Gunwharf and because of the black smoke we can’t even see the Spinnaker Tower.’

Police have blocked off the entrance of the Gunwharf Quays multi-storey car park with police cars. It could be up to two hours before the centre can reopen.

Spokeswoman Michelle Ullett from the South Central Ambulance Service said: ‘Called at 9.53am to Portsmouth to reports of a fire at Gunwharf Quays.

‘We have an ambulance supervisor on standby at the moment but no reported patients.’

Peter Emery, director of Gunwharf Quays, said: ‘We are aware of an incident towards the waterfront and will be in a position to release more details shortly when we know more.’

Pat Chapman, store manager at Boots, said: ‘There was a smell of smoke that came into the shop and then we were asked to evacuate the whole place and we have closed the shop. No one can go in or out of Gunwharf. It has been evacuated.’

No casualties have been reported.

Portsmouth City Council say that Queen Street is shut to traffic in both directions apart from emergency vehicles and buses.

Pedestrians, residents, shoppers and cars now being allowed back into the complex but the restaurants along the Gunwharf waterfront remain closed after the fire.