HOMES across Hampshire were left without power last night during a blackout caused by an electrical fire in an industrial estate.

The blaze broke out at 8.30pm last night when underground cables caught fire in an industrial estate in Winnall, Winchester - blowing the top off a manhole cover.

A passer-by raised the alarm after seeing smoke coming from the manhole in Easton Lane in a fire that caused a blackout for homes in the Winnall area for several hours.

Crews from Winchester fire station arrived and sealed off the manhole but the fire eventually died down and they spent nearly an hour monitoring the area to ensure it was safe.

A spokesman for Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) said only a small number of homes had their power cut off and it was restored by 3.30am.

He said it followed disruptions to the same homes from 11.30am yesterday morning when an underground fault caused problems.

Engineers fixed the earlier incident by noon.