A SOLAR panel warning has been issued after a man was taken to hospital following a roof fire.

Residents were left in shock as the roof of a semi-detached house in Wellbrooke Gardens, Chandler’s Ford was completely destroyed by the flames after a fire broke out.

Pictures showed flames and smoke billowing from the roof of the building as firefighters worked.

A spokesman for Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service could not confirm if the solar panels on the roof caused the fire, but did say they were damaged in the blaze.

The Solar Trade Association (STA), which works to promote the benefits of solar energy and to make its adoption easy, said all incidents of fire were taken very seriously by the industry.

It is urging residents to ensure they employ certified installers who use equipment compliant with industry standards.

A spokesman for STA said: “If you employ MCS-certified installers using certified equipment, as required if you are claiming feed-in tariffs, it is extremely unlikely that your solar system will develop a dangerous fault.”

The spokesman added that research carried out by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) showed that incidents of fires caused by solar panels were rare.

And added: “The detailed findings of the BRE research have been used to strengthen guidelines for installers and designers, and for the fire services.

“Overall solar has an excellent fire safety record but every opportunity to make an extremely safe technology even safer is being taken.”

The cause of the fire in Chandler’s Ford , which started at about 4pm is still under investigation.

Firefighters from Redbridge, Eastleigh and St Mary’s

Fire Station battled the blaze until it was extinguished at 7.29pm.

A 76-year-old suffered minor injuries and was taken to hospital.

Residents said the they were shocked. Alex Rawding-Guille, 26, who lives nearby added: “The fire was massive.”