Mum devastated after arson attack on her Portchester flat

A MUM has revealed her devastation after an arson attack on her flat in Portchester which left residents in the block running for their lives.  

Chantelle Deeley, 23, who was at work when the fire started in Ribble Gardens at around 7am on Monday, has revealed she is ‘totally puzzled’ why anyone would break in and torch her home.

Firefighters at the flat in Portchester on August 8

Firefighters at the flat in Portchester on August 8

The mum, who lived at the flat with her four-year-old son, admitted she was fortunate she was not there at the time.

‘I feel lucky we were not there. If we’d been inside at the time then we may not be here now,’ she said.

‘I feel numb this has happened and don’t understand why anyone would do this to me. I don’t know if it is random or what. It puzzles me.

‘My cats were inside at the time but fortunately have survived. It’s horrible to think about it all. I won’t be going back to live there after this. I’ve lost everything that was in there – it’s totally ruined.’

Neighbours who were in the block at the time have revealed how they were woken to desperate screams of ‘get out’ before the emergency services turned up.

Penny Tripe, 21, who lives in one of the upstairs flats with her boyfriend Ashley Sadler, said: ‘It was really scary. We were woken by one of the neighbours banging on our door and screaming “get out there’s a fire”. 

‘My partner and myself just grabbed our two-year-old son who only had his nappy on and got out as soon as possible.

‘I then called 999 while Ashley ran downstairs and got into the flat through the patio doors to see if anyone was inside, but fortunately there wasn’t anyone in there. 

Craig Bailey, 39, who cares for his disabled wife Niki, added: ‘It was all going up in flames – we were panicking thinking we may not be able to get out. 

‘We didn’t hear the alarm as it was only in their flat.

‘If it wasn’t for one of the residents screaming at us to get out, then I don’t know what would have happened.’ 

Police are keen to speak to people who saw anyone acting suspiciously.

Call 101 quoting 44180297357 if you have any information. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​