Gosport charity workers won’t let fire get them down

Matthew Cobden arrives at Winchester Crown Court. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

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VOLUNTEERS behind Gosport’s disabled sports charity say they will not be beaten by a fire which ravaged their headquarters.

Dozens of firefighters fought a roof blaze at the Gosport and District Sports Association for the Disabled (GADSAD), in Elson Road, which destroyed the centre’s toilets, office and kitchen.

Those who run the club say the blaze may put them out of action for months, but offers of help have already come pouring in.

The club’s chairman, Michael Hollis, said: ‘This isn’t going to beat us, the committee is determined about that.

‘It’s still a bit depressing but we’re just waiting to find out what happens next.

‘I still think we are going to be out of action for about three months by which time hopefully something will be sorted, although some places have come forward to say they have some space we can use in the meantime.’

As reported, the fire started at around 1.30am on Tuesday.

About 40 firefighters from fire stations in Gosport, Fareham, Cosham, Southsea, Portchester, Wickham, Hightown and Eastleigh tackled the blaze.

A fire investigation team has spent the last two days combing the scene for clues as to what started it.

A spokeswoman for Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said the fire was caused by an electrical fault.

But it is not yet clear what caused the fault.

The building is covered by Gosport Borough Council’s insurance.

GADSAD has been running in the town for almost 35 years.

It meets each week for people with disabilities to play sports including boccia, quoits, putting, stick ball, skittles, bowling, darts and board games.