A SMOKE alarm alerted residents to a fire at a block of flats in Southbourne yesterday evening. 

At around 8.45pm crews from Christchurch and Springbourne were called to a property on Belle Vue Road.

A spokesman from Dorset Fire and Rescue Service said crews extinguished a fire caused by food left on the hob.

A neighbour was alerted to the fire after hearing the smoke alarm, which was fitted at the property following a home safety check last month.

The checks are a free service provided by Dorset Fire and Rescue which aim to encourage the public to think about fire safety in their home.

To sign up for a check go to dorsetfire.gov.uk or call 01035 252600.