This past year has been a scorcher for Southampton. We’re not talking about those mysterious heatwaves or the hot air from SUSSED over the release of exam results, we’re thinking of the spate of fires that students and residents have suffered. The Tab has collected the reports on the various fires around Southampton. What a year it has been!

1. Friday 28th September 2012 – Portswood Bank – Fire 1, Lloyds TSB electricians 0

Just two days before the freshers turned up, wide eyed and peculiar, a fire started in the Portswood branch of Lloyds TSB early in the morning, started by a faulty light fitting. Fortunately, the fire was small and easily intercepted, so no one was hurt.

2. Friday 2nd November 2012 – The Machine Mart Fire – Fire 1, Machine Mart’s environmental record 0

The fire occurred at 11:15 that morning, caused by a suspected gas cylinder. The fire was quickly dealt with (Southampton’s fire services are well trained, as this report shows) but the incident led the Environmental Agency to raise questions over chemical run off.

3. Saturday 3rd November – The Infamous Roosters’ Flame – Fire 1, Credibility of Roosters’ Spicy Chicken 0

roosters 1

As noted, the lemon and herb became too hot to handle. The fire began during the morning of that Saturday (what is with having fires at the weekend?) requiring eight fire engines to put it out. Barely a day after the Machine Mart fire, it seemed to be too fishy to be chicken.

4. Thursday 8th November – The Montefiore Hedge Fire – Fire 1, the rather bald looking hedge 0

The spate of three fires in a week was a bizarre way to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night. Dangerously close to Montefiore reception, the bus stop and also right on the pavement, the fire began in the small hours of the Thursday morning. The ever-valiant fire personnel managed to extinguish the flames, while a few students present at the scene reported the presence of teenagers at the time the fire started.

5. Thursday 6th December & Tuesday 8th January – Fire Alarm Disruption – Fire Alarm panickers/trolls 1, stressed students 0


Distinctive in there being no fire in either case (it wasn’t at the weekend and we were meant to be revising, silly!) the fire alarms were set off during times when it ceases to be funny like it is in school, becoming genuinely disruptive to third year coursework deadlines and EXAM REVISION. The first occurred at Hartley Library two hours before the 13:40 coursework deadline, with students were not allowed to return until it was too late for their coursework even to be submitted for 15:30. The second interrupted important revision lectures in the Chemistry building.

6. Saturday 19th January – Romero Arson Attack – Fire 1, Fire Investigation 1, Arsonists -1

Credt: Tatiana Sieff

It seems someone had it in for freshers this last academic year. The fire began in Flat 6 in one of the bedrooms at 10:30 Friday night, but continued into Saturday when The Tab published the report. The residents of Flat 6 had to be rehoused as their flat was destroyed by the flames. An 18 year old man and a 21 year old man were arrested in connection with the incident and bailed.

7. Tuesday 21st May – Liberty Quays – Fire 1, Solent Students 0

Credit: Natalia Leighton-Sims

Credit: Natalia Leighton-Sims

It seems that the pattern of fresher fire baiting extends to the Solent students. Although there were callous comments passed about the incident, no one could deny the shock. A female student from the twelth floor, where the fire began, was taken to hospital, the fire attended to by sixty-three firefighters and the evacuated students had to remain outside in the cold early hours of the morning.

8. Friday 21st June – Highfield Halls – Fire 1, Last Week of Term desperation for an exciting finale 0

Highfield Halls

Southampton was keen to put on a grand finale to see off its not so fresh freshers for the summer, by a good ol’ Friday Fire. The fire alarm went off at 2:53 that Friday morning but the fire had died by the time St Mary’s Fire Service arrived, with no one hurt. Post exams barbecue anyone?

Final Score: Fire God of Southampton 8, Southampton 0

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