Police investigate town centre arson

portacabin fire eastleigh

A portakabin in the centre of Eastleigh was destroyed by fire on Tuesday night in an incident the police are treating as suspicious.

Fire Crews with breathing apparatus form Eastleigh and St Marys were called at around 11.45pm to a building described by police as  “a portakabin” just off the service road to the rear of H & T Pawnbrokers on Market Street.

The fire which is believed to have been deliberately started in a rubbish bin had spread to the roof space of an adjacent shop. Up to 23 fire-fighters were involved in extinguishing the blaze.

The building was destroyed as a result of the incident. Damage was also caused to a parked car including a flat above the shops – residents of the flat were evacuated and luckily no-one was injured.

A man has been arrested in connection with the incident and released on bail

Anyone with information should contact PC Dave Hollands at Eastleigh police station on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Mini-Com users can call 01962 875000.

currys market street

Meanwhile the recently closed Curry’s electrical store next to the Pawnbrokers has had the front door smashed in.

The shutters to the front of the empty store have been prised up and the plate glass front door has been smashed to gain access – it is not clear if entry has been forced by people intent on stealing anything of value or by fire crews in connection with attempting to control the adjacent blaze.

It is not known if anything had been taken and the premises were still unsecure this afternoon with glass scattered all over the floor.

  3 comments for “Police investigate town centre arson

  1. Dick Ellershaw
    July 1, 2011 at 6:46 pm


    Hello there,


    I have recently been made aware of the article on your website at the above link. In particular, that it contains use of the word “portakabin” to describe a portable building that was badly damaged by fire.

    I am obliged to remind you that Portakabin® is a European and UK registered trade mark of Portakabin Limited. As such, the Portakabin® trade mark must only be used to refer to portable buildings that are known to have been manufactured by Portakabin Limited. It is not a generic term.

    The purpose of this message is to request that you remove all references to the word “portakabin” from this article as the portable building in question was not made by Portakabin Limited. In this context I would suggest use of a generic term such as “cabin”, “jackleg cabin”, “portable cabin” or “modular building”.

    This is very important to us as a business and we would be most grateful for your cooperation. We would also be grateful if this message could be circulated for the attention of your staff to try to prevent such inaccuracy in the future


    Dick Ellershaw

    Intellectual Property Manager

    Portakabin Limited

  2. Andy Lombardi
    July 2, 2011 at 12:16 am

    You are right. I wonder how the Ford Legal bods will view the common use of ‘transit’ for any general purpose van or minibus?

    will they like the free publicity?

  3. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    July 4, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Although Ford jealousy guard their Ford blue oval trade mark and went to absurd lengths with the Jaguar brand when they owned it – even threatening zoos which advertised they kept jaguars – they have been quite relaxed about the generic use of the word Transit to describe a medium commercial panel van.
    In fact they have they have used the genericization of the brand name as a unique selling point – it is the ultimate social validation of a brand as a result of market domination.
    You can’t buy that kind of PR.
    So I am a bit puzzled by Portakabin’s action here… especially the bit about me “telling my staff” ehhh?
    I called it a Portakabin because that’s what both the police and the Fire Brigade called it in their press releases.
    If the Police and the Fire Brigade are telling me it’s a Portakabin as far as I’m concerned I’m merely reporting the facts.
    There is no attempt to either slight the brand or pass off an inferior product for commercial advantage.
    The Police are appealing for information in connection with a serious crime in which lives were put at risk and most people will know what a portakabin looks like – you can’t say that about the suggested term ‘jackleg cabin’.
    I would have hoped that Portakabin would view the use of the word in context and show some forbearance as it serves the public interest.
    I’ve also used the trademark ‘Curry’s’ in this report but they haven’t felt the need to write to me.
    They say Portakabin is not a generic word but clearly the emergency services think it is – as does Eastleigh Neighbourhood Watch and the Daily Echo who also ran the appeal.
    The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word Portakabin as a ‘portable room or building’and does not show it’s use as a trademark (But it does not define Transit as a name for a van!.)
    I also think if you have to employ someone full time to write to people warning them not to use the word ‘portakabin’ without their permission – you are fighting a losing battle.
    The list of organisations Mr Ellershaw has had to write to includes satirical magazine ‘Private Eye’ – who responded with an article entitled ‘Is this the most tragic job in Britain?’
    The trademark is up for renewal in 2013 and IMO it should be cancelled.

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