FIREFIGHTERS rescued a woman after a blaze in commercial premises filled flats above with smoke.

Five fire engines went to Station Road in Ashley Cross at 8am today after the fire in commercial premises affected several flats.

One woman had to be led to safety while other residents managed to evacuate the premises themselves.

Around 35 firefighters from Westbourne, Poole, Springbourne and Redhill Park attended the incident.

Crews used 10 sets of breathing apparatus, three hose reels and two main lines to extinguish a fire in the loft space of a commercial premises.

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The residential flats above the commercial premises were affected by smoke and the fire is believed to have been started by an electrical fault.

A fire investigation at the scene is continuing.

Station Manager Dan Perrett, who attended this incident said: “Thankfully the smoke alarms within the residential properties activated and alerted the residents to the fire. Most were able to self-evacuate but one female required assistance from the service.

"The fire damage is limited to the commercial premises but there is smoke damage to the residential properties and we are working with our partners to ensure that the residents are able to return home safely and the commercial premises is able to resume business as soon as possible.

"This is a very good example of why we continue to remind people to ensure they have working smoke alarms within their homes that are tested and maintained properly. More information about home safety and smoke alarms can be found on our website,”