PEOPLE who live near a flat where a fatal fire killed a 56-year-old woman say they are shocked and saddened by her death.
Fire crews from Fareham, Cosham and Portchester were called out to Minden House in Redlands Lane, Fareham at 12.04am today.
A 56-year-old woman who was found in the ground-floor flat was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, but died soon after.
Residents nearby have spoken about what they saw, as well as their sadness over the woman’s death.
Stephen Franks, 61, lives in Minden House.
He said: ‘I was in bed when I heard the fire engines arrive – and was surprised when they pulled up outside the building.
‘I just stayed put until we were given further direction by the rescue services.
‘They were here for a good few hours so I figured it had to be serious.
‘I was safe because the fire was at the back of the building and I live at the front, but it’s still quite shocking.
‘This building is quite safe so thankfully the fire didn’t spread from one flat to another – so we are all really fortunate.’
Margaret Stanbridge lives across the road from the flats.
She said: ‘I heard all the commotion outside and was wondering what had happened.
‘I think it kept us all up for quite some time, with all the flashing lights.
‘I don’t know anyone in the flats but I hope everyone else is safe in there.’
Another resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said: ‘It is quite scary to think that a fire can take place so close to you, and you don’t know anything about it until the fire engines arrive.
‘It was an awful surprise to see them pull up here in the middle of the night – all sorts of things start running through your head about what’s happened.
‘I don’t know too much about what happened, but I think it was clear that it was something dangerous.’
Emergency services are still in the area, and a fire investigation will now take place to establish the cause of the incident.