Sky turns black as Hampshire firefighters tackle Gosport flat fire
NEIGHBOURS have described how the sky above their street ‘turned totally black’ following a flat fire in which a male casualty had to be rushed to hospital.
A total of six fire appliances and 30 firefighters were deployed from Gosport Fareham, Wickham and Southsea fire stations to tackle the blaze in a first floor flat at The Redan in Gosport.
A further 10 properties had to be evacuated as the blaze threatened to get out of control.
Corina Jones, 35, who lives behind the flat, said: ‘The sky was totally black with smoke and there were black bits floating all around the street. I heard shouting and came running outside where I could see flames and smoke coming from the flat.
‘I also heard three or four loud bangs. I felt real panic and called the police.’
With a large number of elderly residents living on the street, Corina was concerned for their welfare.
She added: ‘There were lots of neighbours who came out of their houses and some were helping a man who was outside of the flat which was on fire.’
Fellow neighbour John Tyrell, 59, was concerned the blaze would spread to other properties.
He said: ‘I had a phone call from a neighbour who had seen the smoke and I came outside of my house to see flames and smoke coming from the flat. There was a lot of smoke in the air and I was really concerned for other properties as I could see the fire starting to spread through the roof.’
Group manager Andy Lock from Fareham Fire Station confirmed a male casualty was rescued from the upstairs flat and had been taken to hospital.
He said: ‘We were alerted by a passer-by who saw smoke coming from the building. The fire had spread to the roof space and we had to evacuate the nearby flats.’
There was also a large police presence at the scene with officers confirming they were working with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service to ‘investigate the cause of the fire’.
One police officer added: ‘We had to evacuate several flats and are working with the council to find somewhere for these residents to stay.’
After extinguishing the blaze, firefighters had to make the flat and surrounding properties safe.
Gosport fire crew manager Dave Burton added: ‘It’s not yet known if this property had a smoke alarm but it’s important to have at least two working alarms in your property. They are proven to save lives.’