A MAN has been arrested on suspicion of arson after a third floor flat went up in flames, Hampshire Constabulary have confirmed.

Police were called by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service at 1.52pm on Monday, April 6, to a report of a fire on Priestley Road.

A 36-year-old man from Basingstoke was arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life and is currently being treated in hospital for minor injuries.

Six fires engines and four officers were called to the blaze.

Crews from Basingstoke arrived at the scene at 13.46pm to tackle the fire.

An aerial ladder platform and breathing apparatus were used to extinguish the fire, with crews on the scene for over an hour.

A spokesperson from Hampshire and Fire Rescue Service said: "Six fire engines on scene, currently trying to contain fire. It’s in a block of flats, fire is on third floor of building. Call came in at 13.46pm.”

Station Commander from Basingstoke Fire, Keith Jones said: “We attended the fire at Netherfield Place in Basingstoke, third floor of high-rise building. We have had six appliances, aerial ladder platform, command support vehicle and four officers attended this incident.

“We have got the fire under control quite quickly, but it had 75 per cent damage to the flat with 100 per cent to the lounge and kitchen area. The fire was mainly tackled from outside using our ALP to extinguish the fire externally before moving in internally.”

One eyewitness said that the fire service moved extremely quickly to get the fire under control.

"I first heard the Sirens of the fire crew next thing they are up on the ladder hosing down the flames. It looked like they had gone down and next thing they started again. Amazing work from all the crew."

Another person, who lives in the block, said: "I smelled burning and saw a guy hanging from the balcony. Suddenly, you can see smoke damage where flames reached the top. I saw a man jumping out his flat. He hung out of balcony and dangled out and then jumped down."