Residents evacuate homes as smoke billows into the street in Fratton fire

PEOPLE have been forced to evacuate a stretch of terraced homes after a blaze ripped through a bedroom.

Flames and smoke to billowed into Lincoln Road, in Fratton, as a wall collapsed in the ‘severe’ fire at 4.11pm on Tuesday.

Three crews from Southsea attended and firefighters described the fire as ‘severe’ and said it ‘caused a wall to collapse’.

Neighbours urgently told others to evacuate as the fire grew at what is believed to be a house occupied by students.

The fire in Lincoln Road, Fratton, on April 14 2020. Picture: Steve Buchanan-Lee

Jessica Bath, 29, lives two doors down from the blaze.

She said: ‘There were flames coming from the top floor window and thick smoke filled the air.

‘By this time firefighters were already on top of the fire but I was worried about my house as well as my cat which was in the garden.’

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Jessica Bath, 29, and partner, Kevin Andrews, 40.

‘I had to go out in my dressing gown. I had been cooking some pasta and bacon and so had to run into the kitchen to turn off the cooker.

‘One little boy came out in only a towel and so I ended up giving him my dressing gown.’

Her partner Kevin Andrews, 40, said: ‘We first became aware of a problem when there was a loud banging on the door. When I opened it, one of our neighbours was shouting to get out of the house as there was a fire.

‘At that point we didn’t know which house was on fire.’

Firefighters cordoned off the street. Police attended and helped keep the evacuees two metres apart to follow coronavirus social distancing advice.

‘There was a sense of panic as you don’t really want to be going out onto the street with other people at the moment anyway with the threat of Covid-19,’ said Kevin.

Jessica added: ‘We were able to return to our houses but our neighbour, who was next door to the fire, had to wait outside.

‘We’d normally have invited him in but you can’t with how things are at the moment.

‘I think the house on fire has students living there. Hopefully they can find them somewhere to live as things are obviously very difficult with the threat of coronavirus.’

A fire service spokesman said: ‘Two jets and and two hose reels were used to extinguish the blaze.

‘No-one was injured in the fire with all residents accounted for. A fire investigation team is looking to establish the cause of the fire.’

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