FIRE engines were delayed in getting to an emergency after cars parked on double yellow lines blocked the path. 

Christchurch Fire Station said it got into “significant difficulty” while on call to a fire in Twynham Road, Christchurch on Saturday afternoon. 

Firefighters believed the fire was started by an electrical item on charge, but nobody was home at the time and a neighbour had called 999. 

However, the fire service hit out at residents leaving cars parked in the way. 

Christchurch Fire Station said: “Crews from Christchurch and Springbourne were mobilised to a property fire in Twynham Road earlier.  

“We faced significant difficulty getting to the address due to multiple double parked cars, on yellow lines and over pavements. 

“The fire was believed to have been caused by an electrical item on charge. Crews in breathing apparatus tackled the fire with one hose reel jet. 

“Please make sure when charging electrical goods, that you’re awake and at home whilst they are charging. 

“Thankfully good working smoke detectors alerted helpful neighbours who called us. Fortunately, no one was inside the property, because both appliances were obstructed and delayed.  

“Please consider your parking and check your smoke detectors, they save lives and property.” 

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “Our smallest appliance needs a minimum of 3m, or the width of two cars, to pass safely.  

“If you called for help, you would want to know we’re getting through. 

“Poor or inconsiderate parking, even if only for a few minutes, can delay us during an emergency call and, in the case of a rapidly developing fire, every second counts.”