FIRE service chiefs have said the roof design of the building involved in a major flat fire in Bournemouth town centre made the incident challenging to deal with.

More than 60 firefighters worked tirelessly in the afternoon and evening sun attempting to bring the blaze in Holdenhurst Road under control.

The fire broke out in a third floor flat near the junction with Cotlands Road at around 4pm on Saturday afternoon.

Bournemouth Echo: Picture by Twitter user @lordofwaxhamPicture by Twitter user @lordofwaxham

An investigation has been launched to work out the cause, however, the incident is being treated as an accidental fire.

LIVE: Investigation underway to establish cause of flat fire

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service group manager and incident commander Katie Cornhill told the Daily Echo: "We can’t identify how it started at the moment, but we have a good idea of where it started.

"The building is an end of terrace used for commercial (bottom two floors) and domestic purposes (above floors.)

"Our aim was to stop the fire from spreading to adjacent properties by using an aerial ladder platform and compressed air foam system.

"A combination of the two stopped the fire from spreading horizontally and stopped it from spreading from upper to lower. These appliances were also supported by a number of fire engines."

Bournemouth Echo: The scene in Holdenhurst Road on Sunday morning. Picture: Jim DurkinThe scene in Holdenhurst Road on Sunday morning. Picture: Jim Durkin

She said the top floor of the building had been destroyed by the fire, with the mansard roof design contributing to this.

Read more: Holdenhurst Road reopens after flat blaze is tackled by 60 firefighters

"Mansard roofs are designed to keep water off the roof, so it was not easy in those circumstances," Ms Cornhill added.

"It remained a persons reported incident from around 4pm until 10pm but all occupants are safe.

"It was very hard-working conditions for our team, there was a lot of sweating as the hot temperatures did not help the firefighters.

"From a firefighting point of view, gaining access to the roof due to the conditions was quite a considerable challenge for all."

Bournemouth Echo: Crews worked late into Saturday night. Picture by Twitter user @lepetitstonerCrews worked late into Saturday night. Picture by Twitter user @lepetitstoner

A crew currently remain at the scene to monitor hotspots and keep the area damp.

Various other agencies assisted the fire service, including police, ambulance, gas and electricity services.

Ms Cornhill added: "We have worked really well together to resolve the fire and reach a successful conclusion.

"Holdenhurst Road is the main road towards the beach, so the multi-agencies dealt with an increased population exiting the beach during a hot day.

"We would like to thank our partners for supporting us."