RESIDENTS on lockdown were left horrified and frightened this afternoon after a flat went up in flames.

The apartment - on the third floor of the block of flats on Priestley Road - was on fire for two hours as firefighters battled to put it out.

Those living nearby have recounted their fear after witnessing the scene earlier today.

Emergency services were called to Netherfield Place in Basingstoke at 1.52pm on Monday, April 6, after several residents called the emergency services.

Resident, Glen Marsh, 55, who lives in a neighbouring flat said: “Initially I was frightened as I could see smoke going past my windows from the opposite side of my block. Thankfully I was able to go to my communal landing and see where it was originating from.

“I could see that it was contained in the first apartment, and that the fire brigade was in attendance probably within five minutes of getting the call.”

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."

A mother-of-two, who lives next to the third floor flat, said: “Flames were high, I heard banging and smelled smoke.

“I was worried and scared because I have two small children and my husband works late. This is the first time I have seen a blaze like this in Netherfield Place.”

Since the incident, Hampshire Constabulary have arrested a 36-year-old man on suspicion of arson.