ELEVEN people were rescued after a fire ripped through a Southampton flat this morning.

One person was taken to hospital after blaze in the city.

Daily Echo:

Eight appliances attended the blaze at the low rise block in York Close, Northam, at around 2.10am.

Firefighters described flames shooting out of the windows as crews entered to rescue people trapped in their homes.

An elevated platform was used to rescue two residents while four more were carried down on ladders.

Some residents away from immediate danger were told to stay in their flats out of the way on their balconies while the firefighters went in.Daily Echo:

Now plans are being made to move affected residents into new homes.

The city council confirmed it was looking after six adults and two children from five flats and working on re-housing them.

A spokesman said: “Our officers are working to gather details of the affected residents at the scene, and our Homelessness service has assembled a team to find options for accommodating these residents.

“Six adults and two children are known to have been directly affected by the incident and are being looked after by our services while we find suitable alternative accommodation for those affected.”

One couple were taken to the Civic Centre by taxi and looked after by the Homelessness team until a hotel room could be arranged.

It is understood the rest will be put up in hotels and B&Bs while the council works on finding new homes.

The spokesman also confirmed a housing manager was on site at 4.30am, followed by building surveyors, electricians and other tradesmen brought in to assess and clear the building.

St Mary's Fire Station crew manager Richard O'Brien, who was one of the first at the scene, said: “It was a well-developed fire by the time we arrived and there were flames coming out of the windows.

“Luckily the residents all did as they were told and did not panic. They were very calm and that made the whole job a lot easier.

“It must have only been taken around 10 minutes to put it out but it felt a lot longer.”

South Central Ambulance Service also attended, sending two ambulances, two rapid response vehicles and a hazardous area team while one patient was taken to Southampton General.

But crew manager O'Brien added there were no serious injuries but one flat had been destroyed by the fire on the top floor and three others sustained smoke damage.

Meanwhile five jets and 24 breathing apparatus were used by firefighters to extinguish the blaze.

Two from St Mary's fire station were joined by two from Hightown, one from Redbridge, two from Eastleigh and one from Totton.

A resident in a neighbouring block, who asked not to be named, said it was "very scary" to see a flat on fire.

She said: "We have a lot of gas going into these buildings and I was worried that could explode. I was just glad everyone got out alright, especially the children.

"Luckily my daughter slept right through it but it was not a nice experience in the slightest."

But it didn't worry every neighbour, such as Stephen Birch, 66, who lives in the block next to Avon House.

He said: "I woke up at 3am because of all the commotion but I just went back to bed. I didn't think any more of it."

It is unknown how the fire started and Hampshire Fire and Rescue investigators will continue to establish a cause today.

Daily Echo: Image from Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service

Daily Echo: Image from Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service

Daily Echo: Image from Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service