MORE than 20 firefighters are currently battling a blaze in a loft.

The fire broke out at around 11.30am at a semi-detached property in Lodge Drive, Dibden Purlieu in the New Forest.

It is understood no one was in the home at the time it started but four appliances are on scene alongside an aerial ladder platform.

The 25 firefighters are using two hose reels, one safety jet, one covering jet and four breathing apparatus to tackle the blaze.

Lodge Drive and neighbouring roads were crammed with fire engines, police cars and ambulances after all three emergency services dashed to the scene.

But station manager Dave Graham of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service confirmed that the occupants were out when the blaze began.

“A fire was reported in the roof space and crews went inside.

“Because of their good work the fire was confined to the roof space.

“It is now out and we are looking for hot spots.”

An investigation will now be held to establish the cause of the fire.

A Lodge Drive resident who asked not to be named said: “We have been out and drove back to find smoke bellowing out of the roof. Someone else said he had seen flames coming out of the top as well.

“Firefighters had to break into the house because there was no one at home and seemed to have put the fire out pretty quickly.

“I’m just pleased that no one was hurt.”

Another neighbour pointed to all the emergency service vehicles parked in the street and said: “When you see something like this you just think please don’t let it be someone you know.”

Appliances have come from Hardley, Hythe, Beaulieu and Totton fire stations.