Third Fire at Southampton Uni Flat

18 February 2010, 11:47 | Updated: 18 February 2010, 12:25

Hampshire Fire and Rescue were called to student accommodation at Mercury Point, Duke Street, Southampton on 17th February.

Control operators mobilised three fire appliances and the Special Equipment Unit from St Mary’s Fire Station, one fire appliance and the Aerial Ladder Platform from Redbridge, and one fire appliance from Hightown.

Crews arrived to find smoke was issuing from the 11th floor of the 16 story building. The fire located within a student flat on the 11th floor and involved a sofa located within the living room measuring 20m x 20m . Firefighters tackled the blaze using four breathing apparatus and two jets, and the smoke was cleared from the building using positive pressure ventilation. A total of 25 firefighters and 4 officers were in attendance.

Wednesday's incident closely follows two further similar fires that Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service attended other halls of residence located in Southampton at the weekend. Although these incidents are not connected Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service is taking the opportunity to warn students about the fire risks they can face.

Uni FireStation Manager Stew Adamson advises “Quite often a move to college or university is the first experience of living independently, with many students moving in to houses or flats of multiple occupation. The most common causes of accidental fires in such premises are cooking, especially where cooking has been left unattended; lack of care with smoking materials including careless disposal of matches; defective electrical appliances and careless use of heaters and candles. Alcohol can also be a contributing factor in increasing the chance of fire.”

He continues: “Today's incident highlights the kind of damage that can be caused to student ' s personal possessions and course work. The damage was contained to one room by following the correct procedure of keeping fire doors closed. However, this could have resulted in a much more serious incident and I would like to take the opportunity to remind the students to act sensibly to protect themselves and their property. I also encourage parents and families of students that are living away from home to ensure that they aware of the fire risks and take steps to ensure they are kept safe.”


  • Always ensure that there is a working smoke alarm fitted on every level and that this is tested weekly. Never remove batteries!
  • When cooking, make sure that the hob, grill and oven are kept clean as a build up of grease and food can cause fire.
  • Always avoid cooking after drinking alcohol or when you are tired and NEVER leave cooking unattended.
  • When smoking, always use a proper ashtray and make sure that when you put out the cigarette, it really is out. Never leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes lying around unattended.
  • Never smoke in bed - it is far too easy to fall asleep with a cigarette still burning.
  • Take extra care if drinking - someone who has been drinking can end up passing out with a cigarette in their hand, resulting in severe burns, permanent scarring, or even death.
  • When using candles always make sure they are kept in proper holders and placed on heat resistant surfaces.
  • Keep candles away from anything that can easily catch fire such as curtains or furniture.