AROUND thirty people were evacuated following a fire in a high rise building in Poole after an e-cigarette was left on charge.

Dorset Fire and Rescue said that fire broke out on the 9th floor of the 12-storey building, on Parkstone Road, following a call to emergency services at 9.52am.

Incident commander Dave Graham said an investigation had been carried out and the cause of the fire was an e-cigarette, which was unattended.

He added: “In this case, the e-cigarette was left on charge close to a bed, which then caught alight, leading to damage to the room.

“We are experiencing quite a lot of fires involving e-cigarettes, as they can be charged up through a socket or they have a usb attachment, often with chargers which are unregulated or do not match the product.”

He went on to say: "Because we got the fire quickly, we managed to contain it, so that it had not spread to other parts of the residential building.

“We were alerted to the fire by an automatic fire alarm in the building, before we then received a call from a member of the public, which highlights the importance of working fire alarms.”

Incident Commander Dave Graham added that a car which had been parked illegally in front of the building which had made access difficult for the Fire Service and action would be taken to find the owner of the car.

Seven fire appliances and an aerial platform attended the scene, as well as two police cars from Dorset Police and a paramedic 4x4.

Colm Gayton, Resilience Officer for Poole Hospital, said: "Spectrum Housing Group manage Parkstone House on behalf of the NHS. All people who live in the building are NHS staff. I used to live in the building myself. There has been several instances of false fire alarms recently, but this is the first time that they have needed to use a hose."

"I would like to confirm that patient safety has not been comprised by this incident.

Resident Michael Couppleditch who lives in the block of flats said: "I just came back from town and saw all the drama. It's normal to have the fire alrams going off once a week but this time it was a real emergency. There doesn't seem to be any smoke now."

Mr Couppleditch said between 18 and 20 people lived on each floor of the building.