Fire tears through gardens in Havant costing uninsured residents £8,000 in damage

A FIRE starting in a home’s artist studio in Leigh Park took fire crews several hours to bring under control.

Friday, 5th June 2020, 2:44 pm
Updated Friday, 5th June 2020, 6:01 pm

The fire began in the back garden of a property on Ditcham Crescent, before spreading across fencing shared by several homes on the road and to the sheds of a property on Hermitage Close, at 11.30am on Thursday.

The resident in Hermitage Close said she was incredibly grateful to a neighbour who alerted her to fire – as she was in the bath at the time.

Jodie Barrett said: ‘I had just got in the bath when it happened.

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The remains of the artist studio in the Ditcham Crescent property. Picture: Richard Lemmer

‘A neighbour came round and started shouting for everyone to get out.

‘When I looked out the bathroom window I could see my shed on fire – by the time I got down to the garden it had all collapsed.

‘It was growing really quickly.

‘My first thought was to get everyone out as quickly as possible.’

The fire damage as seen from the property in Hermitage Close. Picture: Richard Lemmer

The mother-of-one has lost more than £4,000 worth of property – including an unused hot tub bought three weeks ago – and she has no insurance to cover the costs.

She said: ‘I’m gutted – I was so emotional, I was in bits.’

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The landlord, the housing association Vivid Homes, has agreed to provide new fencing for the property, according to Jodie.

Jodie Barrett, of Ditcham Crescent, said she was shocked at the speed of the fire that destroyed her garden shed. Picture: Richard Lemmer

The owner of the artist’s studio in Ditcham Crescent, who lives with her husband and asked not to be named, also reported not having any insurance to cover her property lost by the fire, amounting to roughly £4,000.

She said: ‘We saw all this black smoke and rushed out of the house – a neighbour called the fire brigade.

‘We built the studio only last year.

The couple wish they had taken out insurance, with the resident adding: ‘If you think the cost isn’t worth it, think again.’

No one was injured in the fire, with crews from Havant and Cosham spending more than two hours to deal with the incident.

A spokeswoman from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said: ‘The fire involved two sheds – which were 100% destroyed – and there was further fire spread to another property.

‘A home fire safety visit was completed for seven properties.’

Jodie said the fire crews were ‘fantastic’ – and thanked them for allowing her to get dressed in the back their fire engine after evacuating her home in just a towel.

She said: ‘They got my clothes from inside the house, and they allowed me to get dressed in the back of their truck.

‘I’ve never done that before.’

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