Portsmouth Co-op store evacuated after fire

SMOKE Firefighters tackle the blaze.    Picture: Carron Evans
SMOKE Firefighters tackle the blaze. Picture: Carron Evans
Police at Catherine House in Stanhope Road Portsmouth on April 19 after a suspicious device was found in the building. Picture: Byron Melton

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A CONVENIENCE store had to be evacuated when a nearby fire filled it with smoke.

Firefighters rushed employees at the Co-op in London Road, North End, to safety after the next-door house’s roof caught fire.

Builders had put up scaffolding around the building and it is believed the blaze started when its felt roof set alight.

Four fire crews – two from Cosham and two from Southsea – arrived at about 5.40pm yesterday.

They took half an hour to tackle the blaze and used an aerial platform to lift firefighters on to the roof.

Crew manager Mark Jones said: ‘We think the ventilation shaft on the house’s roof sucked smoke into the shop and set off its alarm.

‘When we arrived flames and thick black smoke were clearly visible on the roof – in fact they could be seen from our station. We made sure everyone was out of the shop and after that it didn’t take long to put out and no one was injured.’

Amberley Road was cordoned off at the junction with London Road until 6.45pm.