Portsmouth houses evacuated as 'explosion' heard as major fire breaks out in Goldsmith Avenue
PEOPLE living in houses near a major fire at a car repair workshop have been evacuated, police have said.
It comes as witnesses heard an ‘exploding’ sound as the fire erupted this morning.
More than 40 Hampshire firefighters are tackling the blaze at a car repair workshop in Goldsmith Avenue, Southsea. They were called at 10.07am.
Pearl Davison told The News: ‘The plumes are very much still evident and there was, earlier, the sound of something exploding.
‘Very, very smoky indoors and out in the area.’
Col Roger, 82, had to evacuate his flat.
Col said: ‘I live on the ground floor and when I came out into the garden I could see and smell the smoke.
‘I didn't think much of it until I had a knock on my door asking me to leave. You just do as you are told. It looks like the garage has caught fire.
‘Hopefully I can get back in my flat soon.’
Terry Moore, 55, lives two streets behind Goldsmith Avenue in Jessie Road.
He said: ‘I was indoors when I heard all the noise from the fire engines. I realised it must be big when my son phoned me from Hilsea to say he could see the smoke from there.
‘I came outside and walked up to see what was going on. At one point it went really dark and there was a strong smell of smoke.’
University of Portsmouth student Sophie Gibbons said: ‘There was a continuous, constant cloud of back smoke that just kept getting worse.
‘Police have blocked off the surrounding areas to the fire, and there are several fire engines.’
Reece Edwards added: ‘It was a huge fire which is at a car garage place in (Southsea) near Lidl and people had to get out their homes on Orchard Road because fear of gas canisters exploding.’
A Hampshire police spokeswoman said: ‘We are currently on scene assisting @HampshireIOWFireService with a fire on Goldsmith Avenue.
‘A road closure has been put in place to assist them as they work.
‘The road is closed from Victoria Road North, until the junction with Fernhurst Road. Orchard Road has been evacuated as a precaution.
‘We would ask you to avoid the area, and thank you for your patience.’