Residents flee to safety as major blaze consumes three homes

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Christchurch fire Oak Avenue
Crews from Dorset and Hampshire were dispatched to Oak Avenue, Christchurch (Photo: Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service)

SEVENTY firefighters battled a blaze at a house in Christchurch which spread to two neighbouring properties.

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The flames also consumed a garage and camper van after a 999 call was made at about 7.10pm last night (Wednesday).

Fire and smoke billowed into the sky as 15 crews were dispatched from across Dorset and Hampshire to the scene, including an aerial ladder platform.

The emergency started at a house in Oak Avenue but quickly spread to a pair of neighbouring homes in Chestnut Avenue.

Christchurch fire Oak Avenue
The blaze spread to two neighbouring homes in Chestnut Avenue (Photo: Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service)

About an hour later all occupants of the affected homes were accounted for and by 10.45pm the emergency was well under control, with just hot-spots left to damp down. There were no injuries reported.

An investigation has been launched by Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service but there are not thought to have been any suspicious circumstances.

The major operation involved 22 firefighters kitted out with breathing apparatus. Local crews responding included two from Christchurch, two from New Milton, plus one each from Ringwood and Burley.

Water was drawn from the nearby river at Iford Bridge, and a water carrier from Christchurch and a support appliance from Hamworthy were also in attendance.

Christchurch fire Oak Avenue
The emergency was brought under control by about 10.45pm (Photo: Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service)

A spokesperson for Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said on Thursday: “Initial fire investigations have started but this will continue today.

“At this stage, there is no information about a potential cause, but there are no suspicious circumstances.”

The service also tweeted: “Our thoughts are with all those involved. Thanks to all agencies who assisted.”

British Red Cross emergency response volunteers were on scene to support residents burned out of their homes.

Also assisting the incident were Dorset Police, BCP Council, South Western Ambulance Service and Public Health England.

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