UPDATE: Man arrested following ‘deliberate’ blaze at mental health unit in Portsmouth

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A MAN has been arrested on suspicion of arson following a fire that was started ‘deliberately’ in the early hours of the morning, at a mental health unit in Portsmouth.

Between 3am and 3.30am fire crews, police and an ambulance were called to The Orchards on Locksway Road, Milton, after it was reported a middle-aged man staying at the unit set fire to his bed.

Police said a 43-year-old man from Portsmouth was arrested on suspicion of arson and remains in police custody at this time.

The Orchards, run by Solent NHS Trust, is on the site of St James’ Hospital.

The unit is for adults aged 18 and over experiencing a mental health crisis.

Acting crew manager for Cosham Fire station, Lee Merritt, said his team were on the scene for about an hour-and-a-half.

He said: ‘There was quite a bit of damage to the mattress, where the fire originated, and smoke damage in the room.

‘But the fire was contained to the bedroom itself.

‘Staff dealt with the male staying in the room.’

Hampshire Fire and Rescue said the fire was started deliberately, and that an investigation will now be carried out.

The Orchards forms part of the Acute Care Pathway, with two adult mental health wards – a secure ward called Maples and an open door ward called Hawthorns.

One truck from Cosham Fire Station and two trucks from Southsea Fire Station attended the incident.

The South Central Ambulance Service said one person was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.