Two in hospital after 50 firefighters tackle Portsmouth high-rise flat fire

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TWO people have been taken to hospital following a fire at a high-rise block of flats in Somers Town, Portsmouth.

More than 50 firefighters from across the area attended the scene of a bin chute fire at Handsworth House in the early hours of the morning, which Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said affected the 15th and 16th floors of the building.

Handsworth House

Handsworth House

Crews were called at 1.45am and said the fire was out in under one hour, leaving at 4.15am, after making sure the scene was safe.

They used three hose reel jets to tackle the fire and two people were taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham with smoke inhalation by the ambulance service.

A watch manager from Southsea Fire Station said: 'When we arrived we did an external check of the building with thermal imaging cameras and we could see a developed fire on the 16th floor.

'Crews from Cosham, Fareham and Portchester were there as well as command support from Eastleigh and also our headquarters.

'Our control room got lots of calls as people were trapped in their flats with smoke getting underneath their doors - it did spread quite a lot.

'There's always a big fire response when there's a fire in a high-rise building that is confirmed.

'It was good to see the 'Stay Put' policy was in place and adhered to.'

A joint fire and police investigation has been launched to ascertain the cause.

More information to follow.