A MAN has been taken to hospital after a fire broke out at a sheltered housing complex.
Fifty elderly residents were evacuated after the blaze in a second-floor flat in Hometide House, Beach Road, Lee-on-the-Solent at about 10am today.
Eye witnesses have spoken of their shock after seeing flames and smoke pouring out from the windows.
Resident Avril Turner, 80, said: ‘What happened I don’t know. It just blew the window right out. ‘We are lucky that no one else was injured but we could’ve all been in trouble.’
An elderly man, who lives alone in the flat, was taken to hospital for treatment for smoke inhalation.
More than 20 firefighters made up of fire crews from Fareham, Gosport and Portchester battled the blaze and had the blaze under control by 11am.
Another resident David Gray, who lives on the sixth floor, spoke of the moment the fire service arrived.
He said: ‘I saw a fire outside and thought it might be my car so I looked out and I saw flames pouring out of the window
, big red flames then smoke then more flames.
‘Then in just three or four minutes the first fire brigade arrived and they leapt out. It was just wonderful how quick they were and they shot up to the flaming room which they put out pretty quickly.’
Resident Brenda Strudwick, who has lived at Hometide House for three years, said: ‘I live in the top flat and there were people crowding around then the alarms went off.
‘Then it started pouring in, black soot. It was awful the smell. I have never seen anything like it.’
Residents have been allowed back into their flats, although the flat the fire took hold in has been 100 per cent damaged by fire.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Rob Cole said that the cause of the fire was unknown and that it was being investigated.