SEVEN people have had to be rehoused after a fire at a block of flats in which a family pet died.

Firefighters were called to tackle a blaze in Cayman Close, Popley, at around 8pm on Saturday night after smoke was seen coming from a first floor home in the flats.

Around 20 firefighters were called to the scene who battled to prevent the flames, which had spread to the roof, from significantly damaging other flats.

The flat the fire started in was destroyed in the blaze with a cat, owned by the same people who owned the property, dying in the fire. The ownews of the home were out at the time of the fire.

Other flats only suffered what and smoke damage but all of the block's residents had to be rehoused due to a loss of power to the block.

Police and fire services are investigating the cause of the start of the fire.

In a statement issued yesterday, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council deputy leader Councillor Terri Reid said: “Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service quickly tackled the fire last night and no one was injured.

"But my heart goes out to the person who owned the flat involved, especially as they lost their pet.

“Our officers were out at the scene of the fire last night and have been working closely with Vivid, the housing association that owns the building, to ensure that the people affected by the fire had somewhere to stay.

"We will continue to work with them to offer support to the residents involved.”