Everything we know so far about the fire in Goldsmith Avenue, Portsmouth

Dozens of firefighters battled a large blaze in Portsmouth today.

Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 5:02 pm

The fire broke out at a car repair workshop in Goldsmith Avenue, Southsea, this morning.

Emergency services were called to the scene at 10.07am.

More than 40 firefighters attended the blaze alongside paramedics and police officers.

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The fire in Goldsmith Avenue, Southsea in Portsmouth on April 28. Picture: Stuart Vaizey

Here is everything we know so far about the fire:

Where did the blaze happen?

The fire broke out at Byngs Auto workshop in Goldsmith Avenue in Southsea.

Owner Trevor Byng, 46, told The News: ‘It’s a complete rebuild – it’s flat.

‘I’m sick as a pig to be honest. It’s 30 years of working (hard) and it’s all not there.

‘You just have to pick yourself up and go again.

Where did the fire start?

Mr Byng told The News that the fire started in the kitchen.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue added: ‘The blaze in the kitchen area spread to the workshop involving cars, with firefighters working to remove several cylinders from the fire.’

Is the fire ongoing?

Hampshire Fire and Rescue said in an update at 3pm that the operation was being ‘scaled down’ with relief crews taking over from firefighters at the scene.

Residents had to be evacuated

People living in Orchard Road which is nearby to Byngs Auto workshop, where the fire happened, had to be evacuated as a precaution.

They were taken to the sports centre at Priory School – which acted as a refuge for evacuated families – taking in 51 adults, 18 toddlers and babies and two cats.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue have confirmed that the residents have now been allowed home.

Was anyone hurt in the fire?

In a statement Hampshire Fire and Rescue said: ‘South Central Ambulance Service paramedics are also in attendance, but fortunately no casualties have been reported.’

How have residents reacted to the fire?

Pensioner Sylvia Richardson, who lives in Orchard Road, one street down from the fire, said there ‘was so much smoke that she thought her own house must be alight’.

Sylvia, 82, added: ‘It was really quite worrying. The air was so thick with smoke that I couldn't see to the end of the garden.

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Road closure remains in place

Goldsmith Avenue was shut by police in both directions from Victoria Road North to the junction with Fernhurst Road.

How did Priory School react to the fire?

Following the fire this morning, Priory School issued an update to parents in the afternoon.

Headteacher Stewart Vaughan said: ‘We were made aware of the fire in our vicinity and took immediate action to safeguard students and staff.

‘We would like to thank our staff, parents and students for their swift and collaborative actions.’

This is how Portsmouth residents captured the fire

Videos taken across Portsmouth have captured the drama of a huge fire at a car repair shop.

Residents close to the scene saw thick, dark smoke slowly pluming from the site just after 10am.

As the acrid substance began to rise it was soon visible right across the city – even from the other side of Portsmouth Harbour.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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