RESIDENTS have been evacuated from a block of flats this lunchtime because of a fire.

Four fire engines and police officers are on the scene at South Road in the town centre.

Dorset Fire and Rescue Service said nobody had been reported as trapped and the fire was out.

The emergency services were called just after 1pm today after the fire broke out in the flat.

It is believed residents from nearby apartments were evacuated.

Firefighters used four breathing apparatus sets and two hose reel jets to fight the fire.

The fire service said that the flames had started in the living room of a flat.

Crews are now cutting away and damping down at the property.

Nicola Mather, 41, who lives on nearby Skinner Street, said she smelt the smoke before she saw it.

She added: "I had my windows open and I smelt the smoke come through. Then I looked out

and it was all black. Then I saw the fire engines."

Darren Jordan, 47, who lives on South Street, said that he believed that the call was made to the emergency services around 1pm.

He said that until a neighbour banged on the door and told him to get out, he was not aware of the fire.

The incident is now being scaled down, with two fire engines left on the scene with ambulance and police.