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Police investigate suspected deliberate fire which forced evacuation of flats in Hunt Road, Christchurch

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POLICE have launched a probe into a suspected deliberate blaze that forced the evacuation of a Christchurch block of flats.

Firefighters alerted officers as they battled the flames, which were believed to have originated in a communal hallway of the building in Hunt Road shortly before 8pm yesterday (Tuesday).

Residents were cleared from the block, and five people were assessed by paramedics for smoke inhalation although none of them was believed to be in a serious condition.

A block of flats in Hunt Road was evacuated (photo: Google)
A block of flats in Hunt Road was evacuated (photo: Google)

Witnesses and those who can help officers establish what led to the blaze taking hold are being urged to come forward.

Ch. Insp. Andy Bell said: “The initial indication is that this fire is believed to have been started deliberately and we have launched an investigation to establish the full circumstances of what happened.

“I am keen to hear from anyone who may have witnessed any suspicious activity in the area around the time of the incident or who has any information that might assist our ongoing enquiries.

“We will continue to work with the fire service to confirm the cause of the fire and there will be a cordon in place as an examination of the scene continues.”

Ch. Insp. Bell also thanked the residents involved for cooperating with emergency crews as the incident was brought under control.

Anyone with information should contact Dorset Police on 101, quoting incident reference number 16:674, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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