TWO people were taken to hospital following a major fire at a semi-detached property containing flats in Chester.

Firefighters spent nearly six hours tackling the blaze at Walton Place in Blacon yesterday.

A gofundme page, which has already raised more than £600 in 12 hours, has been set up to support the residents who have lost possessions.

Four engines – two from Chester, one from Powey Lane and one from Ellesmere Port – were sent to the incident shortly before 5pm.

Fire and smoke spread to neighbouring flats and two people were taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.

An investigation into the cause is now underway.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "On arrival crews discovered that the property contained flats and no-one was unaccounted for.

"Six firefighters wearing breathing apparatus began fighting the fire using two hose reel jets.

"A covering jet was also set up and the roof space was inspected. Oxygen was administered to an occupier.

"They and another occupier were taken to hospital as they were suffering from the effects of smoke inhalation.

"The fire and smoke from it affected neighbouring flats. A large fan was used to clear smoke and firefighters removed burnt items from the property.

"They also removed a ceiling to look for hotspots, whilst wearing respirators. A thermal imaging camera was used to look for hotspots, which were damped down to make them safe.

"Firefighters left the scene once they were satisfied that the fire was fully out and all the flats were safe. They were in attendance for around five hours and 45 minutes."

"An investigation into the cause of the fire has begun."

Following the blaze, an online fundraising page to support those affected was launched by local resident and trader Andrew Mayers.

He states: "I am asking for help in fundraising to fund all families that have lost all possessions in a horrendous fire on Monday 5th April 2021.

"The families concerned are local to my shop (Mayers minimart) and are known and liked by everyone in our local community and the wider community of Blacon.

"Please give what you can in order to help these families at this very difficult time. Not only have they lost their homes for the foreseeable future, they have also lost most of their possessions too.

"Blacon is a great community with a great community spirit and I'm sure people will donate what they can afford at this challenging time. Many thanks."