FIREFIGHTERS were scrambled to the scene after a blaze broke out in the roof of a flat block in Overton yesterday morning (November 25).

Crews from Basingstoke, Overton, Andover and Eastleigh were called to the scene at Lampool House, on Station Road at 7.29am, where a fire had broken out above a first-floor flat.

With the help of support vehicles including an aerial ladder platform, the flames, which had spread to the roof space, were tackled using hose reels, jets and firefighters wearing breathing apparatus sets.

South Central Ambulance Service and Hampshire Constabulary were also on the scene - with London Road was closed from the just past Overton Hill, to the junction with Winchester Street until around 10.15am. Station Road was also closed.

Thankfully, all residents had evacuated the building prior to firefighters arriving on the scene, and Overton Memorial Institute was opened up for them to wait inside.

Charlie Smee lives in one of the flats affected by the blaze. He was woken up by his neighbour banging on his door and telling him to get out.

The 28-year-old, who works as guest services manager at nearby hotel Oakley Hall, said: “The whole roof has gone from the flat next door, but I don’t know what damage has been done to mine. If my estimations are correct, the water was poured right above where my TV is! But the main thing is we are all ok, everyone got out.”

“We still can’t get back in, I’m supposed to have work at 12 but I don’t know if I’ll make it.”

Speaking to the Gazette, HIWFRS Watch Manager Ewen Ross said when firefighters arrived at the scene they were faced with a “fully developed fire”.

He said: “Initially when we arrived at the scene, we were confronted with a fully developed fire in the roof space of the building.

“Our first concern was safety of the occupants and luckily everyone had already been evacuated from the building before we arrived.

“We quickly got to work to tackle the fire in the roof space and we quickly got the fire under control.”

He continued: “There was a significant amount of damage particularly to the roof of the building and there is one flat that is significantly damaged and then minor damage to the rest of the building.

“At this point we don’t know what caused the fire and all I can say is it is thought it started in the roof base rather than the flat itself. The alarm was raised by passers by who saw smoke coming out of the roof.

“We are scaling back now, and I would like to say thank you to our colleagues in the police and the ambulance service who we have been working very closely with,. They have been a big help and the residents of Overton who have also been a great help.”

He encouraged everyone to take action to stay safe over the Christmas period.

He added: “Make sure you have got working smoke dedicators to make sure you are safe over the festive period.”