FIREFIGHTERS were inundated with calls about Fawley's refinery last night, with many residents fearing it was on fire.

Hightown fire station were among those to respond on several occasions as the county's fire control room received the flurry of calls from people who could see large flames.

One of them came from a resident living on the opposite side of Southampton in Merryoak who could see the fire on the skyline.

But in fact, the flames were being caused by the burning of excess gas which firefighters say was sending off flares.

A spokesman for the refinery said today: "We would like to apologise to residents for any concerns caused.

"This was caused by routine burning of gas known as flaring which appeared to have reflected off cloud to give a particularly strong glow."