Mourners forced to evacuate Havant crematorium during loved one's funeral after boiler catches fire

MOURNERS had to evacuate a crematorium in the middle of their loved one’s funeral service after a boiler caught fire.

Saturday, 25th January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Saturday, 25th January 2020, 1:29 pm

Evacuees at The Oaks in Bartons Road, Havant, watched on as crews from Havant, Emsworth, Cosham, Southsea and Portchester responded to the incident at 11.48am on Monday.

Funeral listings show the committal of a 91-year-old man was taking place at the time.

A spokeswoman for Hampshire fire and Rescue Service said the blaze was caused by a ‘malfunctioned boiler’.

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The entrance to The Oaks Crematorium in Bartons Road, Havant. Picture: Google Street View

It caused thick black smoke to billow over the building.

A spokeswoman for the Southern Co-op, which owns and runs The Oaks Crematorium, said: ‘We take the health and safety of all visitors to our crematorium extremely seriously so we evacuated the building as a precaution.

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‘We appreciate this was not an ideal scenario given a service was taking place at the time, however the safety of our visitors is always paramount to us. ‘Having received clearance from the fire brigade, the service continued approximately 20 mins later and all other scheduled services were completed that day.

‘We're working with the relevant engineers to ascertain the cause of the issue.’

The fire was out when firefighters arrived.