RESIDENTS of a Branksome flat building which caught on fire have been left shaken but praised the 'professionalism' of firefighters and their quick response to the blaze. 

A flat on the fifth floor caught fire and caused a large emergency service response of 65 fire personnel and 12 fire engines at 3.30pm on Tuesday, March 19. 

A total of 21 residents were evacuated from the building in Wilderton Road and were left upset by the experience.

Anne Gibson, 84, resident on the fifth floor, said: "I could see the smoke coming out of the letterbox and I came and tapped all the doors and told everybody there was a fire. They'd always said that the fire brigade would be here in four minutes and goodness me, I was impressed by the response.

"It's an absolute wreck, it's a young lad in there. I've been here 18 years, I've never known anything like this."

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and residents informed others in the building of the blaze, which is believed to be an electrical fire. 

Chintan Pokharee, 31, resident on the fourth floor, moved into the building two weeks ago with his pregnant wife. 

He said: "We were completely unaware of it, we were just sitting having a chat because we are about to have a baby so we were planning everything.

"We were expecting deliveries from Amazon, we could hear some knocking on our door and to our surprise we a fireman who told us to rush out. 

"There was no fire alarm going off, It is a concern for me and I raise a question of why did it go off only in one individual flat?"

Chintan's mum was also in the building, visiting from Nepal. 

Alan Gurluk, 68, on third floor, said despite minimal damage, he still struggled to sleep.

He said: "We were on our guard and were up until one am last night just to make sure everything was ok. 

"Our neighbour had water through the ceiling so we thought it might travel."

A Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service statement said: "

“At the height of the incident, approximately 65 firefighters were in attendance from Westbourne, Springbourne, Redhill Park, Christchurch (x2), Poole (x2), Wimborne, Wareham, Verwood, Ringwood, and New Milton, along with the aerial ladder platform from Westbourne and a support unit from Dorchester."