By Connor Steel
EMERGENCY SERVICES have announced that four people were taken to hospital after a “suspicious” blaze broke out at a block of 23 flats in Gosport earlier this morning (Wednesday, May 10); which damaged at least six properties beyond “liveable condition” as flames erupted through the building stairwell and roof overnight.
Firefighters were called to the scene at Somerset Court, located near to the Windsor Castle pub, shortly after 12:35am on Wednesday as the flames began to take hold. Crews from Cosham, Fareham, Gosport, Havant, Portchester, and Southsea were dispatched alongside a small team of relief firefighters later on this morning.
According to an online report firefighters used breathing apparatus, jets, ventilation fans and an aerial ladder platform were used to tackle the flames; most of which were dampened by approximately 8am. Many safety inspections have been carried out throughout the day to ensure any hotspots aren’t allowed to fully re-spark.
Overall four people received hospital treatment for burns, smoke inhalation and precautionary checks; all of whom have now been discharged and they have been booked into a nearby hotel. Four dogs and three cats were further rescued from the building by firefighters with vet checks being undertaken at the time of writing.
British Red Cross volunteers were on site through Wednesday and emergency services have been thanked for their tireless efforts in supporting concerned residents, as well as ensuring safety for everyone. Users of social media have been offering their support to all those affected with people giving clothing and donations.
Police have called the blaze “suspicious” and have asked witnesses to come forward immediately, whilst the road approaching the building on Heritage Way remains closed at this time. Local residents have since been asked to remain patient at this time with the investigations into the cause likely to be ongoing until Thursday.
This story will be updated with any further developments over the coming hours.
PICTURED BY HAMPSHIRE FIRE & RESCUE SERVICE: Photo from the scene at Somerset Close, which saw sixty firefighters battle the large and dangerous blaze overnight through Wednesday morning (May 10).