RESIDENTS were evacuated this morning from flats in New Street after a fire broke out in a shop unit.

The emergency services were called to the scene by a passing member of the public at 5.22am and the people living in the flats above the shop unit were evacuated by police as firefighters worked to extinguish the flames.

It is thought that an electrical fault was behind the fire, which started in a refrigerator.

Crew manager Neil Buckner, of Basingstoke fire station, said it took two firefighters in breathing apparatus around half an hour to fully deal with the fire.

Damage was limited to the shop unit and residents were able to return to their homes at around 6am.

Crew manager Buckner said: “There were no suspicious circumstances. It looks like there was a faulty electrical cable in the refrigerator.”

A total of nine firefighters attended the scene in two vehicles.