MORE than 60 firefighters have been dealing with a fire on the eighth floor of a high-rise building in Bournemouth town centre on Saturday night.

The fire, which started around 7.30pm, happened in a block of flats in Commercial Road.

Footage by Rob Vivian

It is not known how the fire started but it happened around the same time as a lightning storm in Bournemouth. 

The fire is believed to have taken place in the upper floor of the B-Central residential block.

Footage by Matt McPherson

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue said crews from Springbourne, Westbourne, Redhill, Wareham, Christchurch, Poole, Hamworthy, Verwood, Swanage and Ringwood dealt with the blaze. 

Firefighters used 18 breathing apparatus, one aerial ladder platform and three main lines to extinguish the fire. 

Police and the ambulance service also attended the scene. 

The fire was contained to one flat. The fire service said the occupants had lots everything in the fire but had escaped safely. 


No one was injured in the fire. 

A spokesperson for Dorset Police said they were there to provide support. 

Police have put a number of cordons and road closures in place. 

Vehicles are unable to access Commercial Road from Poole Hill.

Representatives from the British Red Cross are also in attendance providing a fire and emegency support service on Poole Road to assist residents affected by the fire.

Residents said they heard fire alarms sounding in the block of flats and a burning smell.

It is understood there are 62 flats in the building.

Residents in the sixth and seventh floors have been told they will not be able to return to their homes tonight

Craig Baker, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service area manager, said: "We have had a very serious fire in a flat on the upper level of the block in Commercial Road. It was on level eight - the top level for that part of the building.

"There was an extensive fire in that flat so we responded by sending initially seven fire engines, plus a higher level appliance, and we then sent a further two appliances, plus support appliances to help to manage the fire.

"The fire was quickly extinguished for the type of building it was in, but there had been extensive damage to the flat in question, and that has given some spectacular views of the fire to members of the public.

"The fire was under control for some time, but we need to check the flat itself and the adjacent flat. Initially we were told there were people inside the building so we needed to make a thorough search of the areas within the flat and surrounding flats to make sure nobody was in there."

The fire service received a call at 7.20pm to the blaze at 124 Commercial Road and responded immediately.

Mr Baker confirmed to the best of his knowledge no injuries had been sustained by members of the public or the fire service.

"The fire damage is really contained to the one flat. There has been smoke damage to the corridor," Mr Baker added.

"Fortunately fire doors have been used and are built into the building. They have contained the smoke and heat damage on the upper floors, which is really important.

"The fire alarms worked and the fire safety measures built into the building have all been very helpful to us to extinguish and contain the fire, but also to allow people to escape safely.

"We do have a good idea of the cause. We believe it to be accidental.

"It was a multi-agency response. with extensive police, particularly with the part of Bournemouth we are in - the town centre on a Saturday night in a very popular area of the town.

"We have had ambulance standing by just in case. Red Cross are here and local authority are helping us to re-home residents of the flats that we need to.

"We want to make sure. Electricity might be isolated or other services. We need to make sure people are safe."

Footage by Alan Marriott

Alan Marriott, who is visiting his son in Bournemouth said: "We were eating in the Yeah Man restaurant, we heard thunder and lightning and a real crack of thunder.

"We went outside and saw smoke then flames from the top of the building. Police quickly cordoned off the road and there were lots of ambulances and fire engines."

He said a crowd of around 100 people had gathered to watch the drama unfold. 

He said: "We were there for an hour and it was still blazing when we left the restaurant."