A major fire broke out earlier today in residential flats opposite Mango, on the junction between Portswood Road and Lodge Road at 4:20pm.
It has been reported that six fire engines were called from St Marys, Redbridge, Hightown and Southsea stations to deal with the major fire, as well as three ambulances, a police van and an unmarked police vehicle on the scene.
Due the nature of the incident, an Environmental Protection officer was also required on scene in a hazard suit to check and measure for any potential contamination from fire-water runoff resulting from tackling the fire.
On arrival, teams of firefighters found smoke issuing from all areas of the building, through the roof and windows.
Firefighters pumped water into the flats and it is understood that people were evacuated. Three residents had to be rescued – two from the roof and one escorted out of the window via a ladder. A breathing apparatus was also used and it is understood no one was injured.
Despite extensive smoke damage, the fire was kept well contained and the building didn’t suffer significant structural damage.
Firefighters then conducted a full search of the flats and confirmed that there were no more people in the building.
Mark White, fire officer in charge of the incident, said:
“We believe the fire began in a boiler room and extinguished it with positive pressure ventilation fans.”
Residents stood across the road while passers-by stopped to watch the drama.
Portswood Road was closed off from Lodge Road while the fire was being tackled and traffic was diverted.
By 6:00pm the incident was under control and crew started to leave the scene.
The Wessex Scene will be updated as more information becomes available.