Four appliances have responded to the scene between Union Street and George Street to a building adjacent to The New Carnival Company known as Tennyson House.
Residents in the vicinity have been evacuated and the road has been closed.
Without time to grab their mobile phones or money, residents were evacuated from the multi storey block of flats. The owners of nearby The Alamo have opened the doors to the bar to provide temporary shelter for those affected.
Crews from Newport, Ryde, Sandown and East Cowes are in attendance alongside the Incident Command Unit and several Police units.
UPDATE @ 02:45 – A spokesperson for the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service has confirmed that the blaze has spread to the roof space of The New Carnival Company – Queen Victoria’s former coach house – however the fire is being brought under control.
It cannot be confirmed nor denied if the incident is being treated as arson at this early stage.
An emergency shelter is being set up for those residents who have been evacuated, who are likely to remain out of their properties until at least dawn.
UPDATE @ 03:00 – Up to 10 residents are being sought emergency overnight accommodation by the Isle of Wight Council’s Emergency Planning team. Other residents evacuated have sought refuge with friends and family.
The British Red Cross’ Emergency and Fire Support Vehicle is now on scene.
Firefighters are using a bridge across the road joining two residential blocks to tackle the fire from above, as well as using breathing apparatus to enter the building.
UPDATE 03:30 – Police have erected a cordon around the fire ground and say the incident is currently being treated as a crime scene.
Thankfully, no one has been injured in the incident.
UPDATE @ 03:40 – The fire, which has effected at least two buildings, has been extinguished however firefighters remain on scene damping down.
The IWFRS’s Breathing Apparatus Support Van has delivered new cylinders to the incident for the crews.
Southern and Scottish Energy have isolated the electricity supply to the buildings.
UPDATE @ 04:20 – Appliances from Newport and East Cowes have now left the incident and returned to station alongside the Incident Command Unit. Two appliances remain on scene.
Police have cordoned off Union Road from its junction with Cross Street and its junction with Castle Street.
UPDATE MONDAY: A spokesperson for Southern Gas Networks has confirmed to Island Echo that the fire was located underneath a gas service pipe and a number of gas meters. The meters were destroyed by the blaze and the service pipe melted, however it has now been established that the gas main did not rupture.
It is believed the fire was started by materials being lit.