A FIRE was spotted at a Basingstoke play park last night (April 18), thought to have been started by young vanadals.

Residents near the play area on Oakridge Road, known as New Park, heard a “bang”, and then saw flames and smoke coming from the play equipment.

One eye-witness, Callum Hartley, told the Gazette: “I was passing the park just after the bang, and the flames lit up.

“A group of about 4-5 kids then ran off, heading towards Popley area, before a few people called the fire brigade.”

He continued: “Someone had set fire to a swing set, and the rubber flooring, possibly with a can of deodorant.”

A Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: "The small fires vehicle from Basingstoke was sent to a play area in Oakridge Road at just after 20:00 last night (18 April). One hose reel jet was used to put out a small fire and to prevent any further damage to play equipment.

"Police were informed and the crew left at 20:18."