Fire at Newport boatyard

By Martin Neville

Monday, November 12, 2012

 

Fire at Newport boatyard

The fire at Blackhouse Quay, Newport on the Isle of Wight. Picture by Laura Holme.

UPDATED 09:47*

VIDEO

FIREFIGHTERS last night (Sunday) battled a large blaze at Blackhouse Quay, Newport, which police believe may have been started deliberately.

The Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service was called at 7.55pm and sent four pumps to the scene, as well as the water carrier.

The blaze was in a warehouse, measuring 30 metres by 30 metres, in Little London, near the old gravel yard, on the banks of the River Medina.

Although the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service originally reported the fire as being at Odessa Marine, this was later found to be incorrect. The fire was at nearby Blackhouse Quay.

There were reports of gas canisters exploding at the scene and a large exclusion zone was set up by police.

An ambulance spokesman said there were no reported injuries.

In total, the fire service said it had received at least ten calls from members of the public who saw flames coming from the building's roof exposing the rafters.

One witness told the County Press he believed there were gas canisters, outboard engines, boats and cars inside the warehouse, which he said was used mainly for maintenance and storage.

He said: "I saw it was quite bright over there and I thought maybe they were having some fireworks. Then I looked out of the window and realised the workshop was on fire."

Around 30 minutes after the flames took hold, an end section of the building had been completely engulfed, the roof having collapsed.

Such was the fierocity of the blaze, an orange hue lit up the sky while a large column of smoke rose high into the air.

Several explosions could be heard when the flames would intensify before dying back down.

Two crews from Newport, one from Ryde and one from Cowes tackled the blaze which, by around 9.15pm, appeared to be under control, although a large section of the warehouse appeared totally gutted.

*A police spokesman said this morning (Monday) that they were treating the fire as suspicious and detectives were working with the fire and rescue service to establish the cause.

Witnesses or anyone with information can contact CID at Newport Police Station by phoning 101.

Mini-com users should contact 01962 875000. Information can be given anonymously by phoning the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.

Video by Laura Holme.

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