Passing fire marshal enjoying KFC suddenly thrust into Southsea blaze drama to find cat

A FIRE marshal who just so happened to be passing as a blaze ripped across several back gardens in Southsea leapt into action with no thought for his own safety as he tried to find a cat.

By Steve Deeks
Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 10:33 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 10:46 am

Daniel Chandler, 35, of Havant, was parked up near the blazing house in Grayshott Road around 3.30pm on Wednesday after enjoying a KFC and shopping trip for his daughter’s prom.

Read More

Read More
Video shows Southsea fire that spread across gardens causing evacuations being b...

Seconds later, the brave dad was inside a house with thick black smoke as he battled to find the owner’s cat before evacuating eight houses amid fears of nearby gas canisters, telling people: ‘Get out now.’

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Daniel Chandler, who tried to find a cat in the blaze in Grayshott Road, Southsea, on June 22, 2022.

The daring dad had seen smoke and went to investigate before coming across anguished people in the road.

‘A saw a lady and a man shouting - the man said his cat was inside his house. We both went inside. I went upstairs and it was full of black smoke. I soon had to get out as I couldn’t breathe,’ Daniel said.

‘I couldn’t really see much because the smoke was so thick but could see there were flames in the back garden.

‘The fire had reached the house as the smoke was everywhere.

‘It was like paper being set alight with it just going up and spreading through the gardens.’

The two men went back into the house on a further two occasions with a wet cloth over their faces before having to pull out as they were ‘struggling to breathe’. They did not find the cat.

Daniel went to warn residents in the road behind the house of the spreading fire. ‘I knocked on doors and told people to “get out now”,’ he said.

‘There were a couple of children and three adults. Luckily no one was injured. Police wanted me and the homeowner to get checked over for smoke inhalation.’

Daniel said fences were alight and a shed from the next door house - the owner of whom had warned there were gas canisters nearby.

Speaking of the cat, Daniel said: ‘Unfortunately we didn’t find it but they are clever so it could have got out. Fingers crossed.’

Crews from Southsea, Cosham and Havant were called out and using breathing apparatus they extinguished the fire using hose reels and jets.

No casualties were reported.