Office worker trapped by smoke is rescued

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AN OFFICE worker was rescued by firefighters after a blaze broke out at a bin store.

The 25-year-old man was working at offices near Pages Court, High Street, Petersfield, when a blanket of thick smoke prevented him escaping from the building.

The fire damaged water and gas pipes, causing both to leak.

Detective Constable Ewan Gardner, who is investigating the fire, said: ‘Fortunately the man who was trapped was not injured but this could have been much more serious.

‘The fire damaged two gas meters, which caused them to leak. Thankfully, this did not ignite, but again the consequences could have been horrific.

‘We’re keeping an open mind as to the cause of the fire but would like to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time and may have seen something suspicious.’

The fire started between 3.30pm and 4pm on Wednesday.

Mark Jones, community safety officer at Havant fire station, said: ‘The occupant in the building did the right thing by alerting Hampshire Fire and Rescue to the fire and immediately placing himself in a room that had no smoke, where he opened a window and waited to be rescued.’

Detectives need to speak to anyone who was walking through the alleyway between High Street and St Peter’s Road at the time. Call Det Con Gardner on 101.