Lives 'put at risk' as bystander turns off water supply as fire crews tackle Basingstoke house blaze

Credit: Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service

People are being warned to stay away from fire incidents after members of the public blocked crews tackling a house fire in Basingstoke and turned off their water supply.

Large crowds gathered at the scene to watch as firefighters tried to put out the blaze in Chivers Close on Thursday afternoon, May 5.

The fire in the mid-terrace property was caused by an e-scooter which was charging in the kitchen.

No one was injured but the house was completely destroyed.

Officers say though most people were respectful, some onlookers ignored the cordons and the water supply to a hose was turned off.

Group Manager Ryan Thurman said: “We put cordons in place to keep you safe and to allow our firefighters the space they need to be able to do their jobs.

“While the vast majority of people respected that today, we did see people crossing the cordons in order to film what was happening.

“A hydrant was also turned off, which put lives at risk.

“Thankfully the pump operator quickly saw that she had lost her supply, but that action could have been very significant and was utterly irresponsible.”

The blaze was caused by an e-scooter which was charging in the kitchen of the property. Credit: Hampshire Fire and Rescue

Firefighters from Basingstoke, Andover, Hartley Wintney and Fleet were all called to the scene at around 3:30pm on Thursday afternoon. When they arrived, the house was well alight.

GM Thurman added: “We know that e-scooters and bikes are becoming more common and ask people to keep themselves and their families safe by following some simple safety tips.

“Sadly, for this family, this quick-developing fire has destroyed their home.”

People are advised to always use the charger that came with your e-scooter, and if you need to buy a replacement, always choose a branded, genuine product.

Don't store, use or charge batteries at very high or low temperatures, or overload your sockets and never leave a charger plugged in overnight or unattended.