RESIDENTS from a Hampshire tower block were evacuated from their homes this morning after a fire broke out on the third floor.

Firefighters from across the city headed to West Park Road, in Southampton, to the block of flats where the blaze started just before 10.30am.

Families and their young children could only stand and watch as around 40 firefighters headed into the building to tackle the small fire, while those on the higher floors stayed inside and watched from their windows.

One mum Kirsty Hopkins, who has a 20-month-old son, Callum, was heading back from shopping when she saw the fire engines racing past but was shocked to find them parked outside her home a few minutes later.

She said: “You hear the fire engines all the time but you don't expect them to be outside your home. It was a shock, especially because there were so many firefighters, but everyone was evacuated safely which is a relief.”

At around 11.30am, residents were informed by police that it was safe to go back inside their homes as only two flats were damaged by the flames.

However they were warned to take extra care as the corridors were water logged.

An investigation is now underway to establish the cause of the fire.