Hundreds evacuated after fire in Portsmouth nightclub

Hundreds of revellers had to be evacuated from a nightclub after the ceiling caught fire.

The blaze broke out at the Astoria nightclub in Portsmouth, Hampshire, during its Dirty Disco event at about 1.30am on Wednesday.

No-one was hurt in the blaze, which firefighters had extinguished by 3.24am.

The event is described on the venue's Facebook page as "probably the best mid-week club night in Portsmouth" featuring "stilt walkers, fire breathers and the biggest party in the city".

Following the incident, the club posted: "We are happy to announce that following the incident last night we have currently got electricians and builders onsite and are working towards opening for tomorrow evening's event with Concrete Music and Artwork.

"The Astoria management would like to thank Hampshire Fire Service and all the staff involved for ensuring a safe evacuation, as well as all of our customers and associates who have been extremely supportive."

Frankie Tazewell posted on Twitter: "Well my shift last night took a turn for the worst, didn't expect Astoria to catch fire."

A Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said that the premises had been evacuated before its crews had arrived at the scene.

He said: "Vehicles from Southsea, St Mary's, Portchester and Cosham, including the aerial ladder platform, were called to a fire on the dance floor at a nightclub on Guildhall Walk in Portsmouth.

"Everyone was safely evacuated from the premises after the fire involving ducting was discovered.

"The blaze on the second floor of the three-storey building resulted in smoke logging throughout the nightclub.

"The fire was extinguished using six sets of breathing apparatus, two hose reel jets, two jets and tactical ventilation for smoke clearance."

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