THE investigation into what caused the flat fire which brought Bournemouth town centre to a standstill on the hottest day of the year was in full swing yesterday.

More than 60 firefighters battled the blaze at the height of the incident, which unfolded late Saturday afternoon and continued through the night.

By yesterday morning the scale of the damage became apparent, with the entire roof and top floor of the building in Holdenhurst Road, which contained flats, left destroyed.

No-one was injured in the inferno, but firefighters were unable to confirm that completely until well into Saturday evening.

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

"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."

At its height a dozen fire engines, including some from neighbouring Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service, attended the scene.

Group manager Cornhill said: "The floor on fire, the top floor, has been destroyed by the fire, mainly due to the construction of this particular floor which is a mansard roof."

"Crews fought the fire on the roof and protected the adjacent properties and the floors below."

The mansard roof , designed to keep water off, caused pockets of fire in areas firefighters could not easily reach.

Kayla restaurant is located on the ground floor of the building, directly under where the fire broke out.

It is unclear the extent of damage caused to the restaurant, but firefighters have confirmed extensive damage throughout the third floor, with water and smoke damage to the floors below.

As the drama unfolded Kayla restaurant posted on Facebook: "The fire started at one of the flats above us and has spread across with the roof collapsing."

Group manager Cornhill said: "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.

"We still haven’t stepped foot onto the roof itself and we will work with local authorities to identify the property safely."

Firefighters remained on scene yesterday.