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Fire at block of flats in Hawley

Police and fire teams were called to Thornfield Green shortly before 3pm on Friday, with "thick black smoke" seen by an eyewitness driving by.

Emergency services at the scene in Thornfield Green

Emergency services have been dealing with a fire at a block of flats in Hawley.

Hampshire Fire Service received a call at 2.53pm reporting a loud explosion and a fire at a block of eight flats in Thornfield Green in Yately.

Phil Yarney, station manager at Basingstoke Fire Station, said that initially three appliances attended the scene from Rushmoor Station.

He said: "At this stage the cause of the fire is not known but I can say that the fire is not suspicious.

"We believe the fire started in one of the flats on the top floor of the building and quickly spread to the roof. Thanks to the good work of my colleagues, we were able to put out the fire before the whole building was lost.

"Around 50 percent of the roof is damaged, when we arrived there was thick black smoking emanating from the whole way across the roof."

The emergency services on scene reported that no one was injured in the fire, but three people were in the block of flats when the fire broke out.

Mr Yarney said: "The occupant of the flat where the fire started has received some medical attention for minor smoke inhalation, but he will not need to go to hospital."

Mr Yarney added that the investigation into the fire was currently being hampered because one of the occupants of the block of flats has legally registered ammunition for a rifle and a shotgun in his property.

"We are having to take extra precautions because of these munitions, which is slowing down our investigation of the fire."

June Vass lives in one of the flats below where the fire started.

She said: "I just heard this very loud explosion and then I heard some China breaking- that made me think the fire might have started in the kitchen. It really was a loud bang.

"I am 91 and I was having my afternoon sleep when the explosion woke me up.

"I am worried because I do not know how long it will be until I am allowed back into my home. But my brother is coming to get me and I will stay at his tonight."

Sergenat Richard Heard from Hampshire Police said: "I can report that no one was trapped inside any of the properties affected by the fire."

Members of the district council emergency planning team were on the scene organising housing for those occupants affected by the fire. Emergency services said that it was unlikely that they will be able to go back to their properties this evening.

 
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