Police probe launched after fire at Gosport house

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A police investigation is under way after fire ripped through the ground floor of a Gosport house early today.

Three fire engines went to Albemarle Avenue, Elson, at about 3.20am and found a fierce blaze raging from the lounge of the terraced property.

Fire damage to the house in Gosport

Fire damage to the house in Gosport

The 27-year-old man who lives at the house was out by the time firefighters arrived, but he had to be given oxygen therapy after inhaling smoke.

A dog, thought to be a Scottish Terrier, was still inside.

Gosport fire station’s watch manager Steve Bint said: ‘We turned up and there was a large fire in the front room coming through the window.

‘We initially attacked the fire from outside and then entered the building and extinguished the fire and rescued the dog.

Police at the scene of the fire in Gosport

Police at the scene of the fire in Gosport

‘The dog was upstairs. Once the guys were inside, I managed to get round through a neighbour’s house and could see the dog on the window sill in an upstairs bedroom.

‘The dog was in a bedroom with the door closed, so he was quite safe.’

He added: ‘The man was alerted by his smoke detectors and then went up and got dressed and evacuated.

‘Ideally he should have evacuated straight away.

‘We did have a report that he gone back in for the dog and then came back out.’

The front room of the house and its furniture were destroyed and the rest of the ground floor was smoke damaged.

The blaze took about 25 minutes to put out.

Two fire engines from Gosport and one from Fareham went to the scene and left by about 5.30am.

The man was taken to hospital for treatment after inhaling smoke.

A police officer is standing guard at the house this morning as a fire investigation team try to work out what caused the fire.

Mr Bint added: ‘There’s an investigation to ascertain how the fire started.’

A police officer was guarding the property as fire investigators started to inspect the house this morning.

Firefighters smashed open the living room bay window, which now reveals charred and damaged furniture inside.

Solange Tobutt, 61, and her husband Victor, 69, live next door to the house and were woken up in the early hours.

Solange said: ‘We were asleep and I heard a sound.

‘I got up, went to the window and I opened the bedroom window and there was that horrible smell of burning.

‘Then I went to the other window and heard voices.’

Victor added: ‘The building was shaking and then there was an explosion and then it went quiet.

‘My wife looked out and heard a loud voice shouting.’

Solange added she feared her own house, one of five in the block, was on fire.

The pair rushed downstairs as another neighbour banged on their door telling them of the blaze.