Video: Garage owner says he is devastated after Portsmouth blaze

Have your say

ARSON investigators are probing the cause of a fire which engulfed a garage in Copnor last night.

About 70 firefighters and 10 pumps tackled the incident at Bosham Road in Copnor.

Michal Borkowski

Michal Borkowski

Hampshire Arson Task Force officers are today at the scene but are not yet able to give the cause of the fire.

The garage’s owner, Michal Borkowski, 32, has spoken of his shock upon being told of the blaze by the police.

Mr Borkowski said: ‘They rang and said it looks like your garage is on fire.

‘I felt terrible and devastated.

‘Really angry as well, thinking maybe I’d done something wrong but I didn’t.

‘The fire investigator says it’s one of those things - could be an electrical fault, could be anything.’

The garage, called Harris Autos, is in among terraced houses at the southern end of the road.

The blaze left a gaping hole in the ceiling of the garage, and Mr Borkowski said he thought the fire started in the rooms above which were not part of his business.

He said he doubted the cause was arson.

About 15 families were evacuated from nearby houses but were later allowed to return to their homes.

Firefighters used a ladder pump to spray water onto the roof to quell the blaze.

Kathleen Umney, 73, who lives nearby in Powerscourt Road, said the area was jam-packed with fire engines.

‘I never knew we had so many,’ she said.

‘I felt sorry for the occupants and their neighbours. It must have been shocking.’

Mrs Umney said she didn’t see any flames, just thick smoke emerging from the building.

‘We were thinking it started in the attic because that’s where all the attention was,’ she said.

Mr Borkowski said the blaze was put out and most of the firefighters had left by 4pm.

The investigation is ongoing.

See a picture slideshow here