RESIDENTS had a lucky escape when fire destroyed a ground floor flat in Boscombe on Tuesday morning.

While most of the tenants of the block of flats in Florence Road manage to escape, two people had to be rescued from a flat roof by crews.

More than 20 fire fighters from Christchurch, Springbourne and Redhill battled the blaze using eight sets of breathing apparatus and three hose reel jets.

Smoke alarms alerted the residents to the fire, and doors within the blocks were closed, which meant the damage by both fire and smoke was contained.

The Red Cross emergency support service was also on the scene assisting a few residents with temporary accommodation, said watch manager Karen Jeffries.

Fire investigation officer, station manager Andy Fox said: “We believe the cause of this fire to be electrical. Luckily no one was injured but at this time of year, with all the extra electrical decorations and appliances in the home, it is a timely to remind the public about electrical safety.

“All appliances should be switched off when you leave the house or when you go to sleep, don't overload electrical sockets, ensuring you only have one plug per socket and always use an RCD (residual current device) on outdoor electrical equipment.”

Resident Mark Clarke, who was rescued from the roof of the property said: “I was in my flat when I heard the alarms going off.

“I opened the door and half my flat was smothered in deep smoke.

“Sometimes the alarms go off and it’s a false alarm.

“It was all up the stairs and the floor was red hot.

“So I managed to get out the window and was looking for a way to get off when the fire crews arrived.”

Chris Fry, who lives next door to the flat where the fire started, said: “We’re used to the alarm going off sometimes but someone started banging on the door.

“We just thought it was normal noise at first.”

Station manager Neil Rickett added: “Thankfully for these residents the fire door worked perfectly and most of the residents had an escape route.

“The two people we rescued did not and this just shows the importance of having a fire plan in place.”