A MAN has been charged with arson after a fire at a block of flats near Basingstoke hospital on Monday.

Police have accused Dean Puttock, 36, of arson with intent to endanger life, as well as criminal damage, after the block on Priestley Road caught fire on Monday afternoon.

He will appear at Basingstoke Magistrates' Court today where he is expected to enter a plea.

Mr Puttock was arrested at the scene.

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.

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.”