12 year old arrested over fire
A 12 year old boy and three 15 year olds have been questioned over a fire in our region that meant several homes had to be evacuated.
Emergency services were called to a building site in the Brighton Hill area of Basingstoke just before 6.30pm on Friday 10 September 2010.
Around 25 homes had to be evacuated as the fire swept through the site, where 64 flats were being built. The flats were destroyed by the flames. A witness reported seeing two young people running from the scene shortly before the fire was noticed.
The 12 year old boy and three 15 year olds have been released on bail until November while further enquiries are carried out.
Fire engines from across the region were called to deal with the fire, with appliances responding from Basingstoke, Overton, Tadley, Whitchurch, Hartley Wintney, Alton, Fleet, Stockbridge, Sutton Scotney, Alresford, Mortimer, Camberley, Guildford and Whitley Wood.
Police moved people living nearby to a rest centre at the Loddon Vale Indoor Bowls Club. Those evacuated from their homes were offered overnight accommodation.
No-one was injured in the fire. Investigations are going on to work out just how it started.
The flats were part of an Extra Care development for elderly people being built in partnership with Hampshire County Council, Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council and the Department of Health.
Construction work had started on site in September 2009 and was due to finish in June 2011. Thirty-four of the flats were for affordable rents, while 30 were for shared equity purchase, none of which had yet been allocated.
David Standfast, Saxon Weald’s Chief Executive, said:
Councillor Ken Thornber, Hampshire County Council's Leader said:
" I am dismayed to hear of the damage done by the fire to this housing scheme. It is a setback to the project which will impact upon one of the most vulnerable sectors in our society - older people - whose occupation of these Extra Care homes was to have gone ahead next year and will now inevitably be delayed."
A spokesperson for Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council told Heart there was CCTV on site, and an overnight security guard who spotted and reported the fire.
Any resident who wishes to discuss Extra Care accommodation can call the borough council on 01256 845250.