Thorold Road development goes up in smoke

thorold road fire
 Seven fire appliances and support vehicles were mobilised to tackle a major blaze at a development that was being renovated in Thorold Road, Bitterne Park at around 3am on Tuesday (May 3). Thorold Road and Dimond Hill remained closed on Tuesday, with police officers posted around the scene, and fire crews working to make the site safe.


Locals had seen the development slowly take shape over the preceding months, apparently in keeping with the original design. The roof and windows appeared to have recently been completed, and for sale boards had appeared outside.

Second fire in new build behind

Watch Manager Shaun Cheeseman was on the first fire appliance to arrive: "We could see the flames coming up over the hill as we came over Cobden Bridge. On arrival the first building was well alight with burning embers showering the premises behind and neighbouring properties. The call had come in as ‘persons reported’ and we had to treat it as such until our investigations proved otherwise and it became apparent that the building was under renovation and unoccupied. I called for further assistance upon discovery of the second fire in the new build premises in the grounds behind.

“Our main priority was to stop the spread of fire and both buildings were surrounded by water as fire-fighters tackled the blaze. Crews cleared hot embers that had covered the cars parked in the vicinity and also dampened down the private dwelling next door to as it was at obvious risk of catching fire. As a precaution sixteen local residents and four dogs were evacuated from neighbouring properties by our colleagues in the police. “


Volunteers on call with the Red Cross in Hampshire leapt into action to assist. Mobilised by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, the Fire and Emergency Support Service (FESS) team made their way to the incident to provide emotional and practical support to the residents of the adjoining properties who had been evacuated from their homes.

The FESS vehicle is kitted out with necessities such as a clothing bank, toiletries, a phone, documents and space for a team of fully-trained Red Cross volunteers to offer hands on help at the scene of the fire. As well as immediate assistance, the Red Cross volunteers can also contact a victim’s insurance company, arrange alternative accommodation, help to secure a property and sort out utilities.

An investigation is under way to determine the cause of the fire.

There was a fire in the same building in 2009 and fire crews were also called out to deal with a blazing tree in the woods at Deep Dene last week, which is just behind the new build property in the grounds.

Police have said they've launched an arson investigation, and Thorold Road will be closed for around 24 hours.

  • has also received an unconfirmed report of a "large deliberate fire at Chessel Bay Nature Reserve" possibly over the weekend.

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