AN INVESTIGATION on a recent city blaze is underway after Hampshire Police have confirmed it as an arson attack.

As previously reported, emergency services rushed to Southampton High Street shortly after 7pm on Wednesday after reports of a fire in a disused building next door to the Standing Order pub.

This is the second blaze that has broken out at the building this year.

Thick black smoke was seen billowing from a window on the first floor and the road was cordoned off.

Residents also reported individuals on the roof of the building an hour before the blaze broke out.

A spokesperson from Hampshire Fire and Rescue said: "Crews from St Mary’s, Redbridge, Hightown, Eastleigh and Service Headquarters were called to a fire on the first floor of a derelict commercial premises at 7:03pm yesterday evening.

"Nobody was involved in the fire which was extinguished using four sets of breathing apparatus, the aerial ladder platform and one hose reel jet.

"The incident was handed over to Hampshire Police before crews left the scene with the stop message coming in at 9:14pm."

Hampshire Police told the Daily Echo:"No one was injured and no one has been arrested.

"We are treating it as arson."

They confirmed that reports of youngsters on the roof were made by the public before the blaze broke, they told the Echo that because this was civil trespass matter they did not need to deploy police.

A local resident who did not want to be named said:

"It's not the first time that people have access onto that roof, it has been reported before.

"It's something that could have been knocked on the head potentially earlier."

Councillor Jon Noon from the Bargate ward also spoke to the Echo about residents accessing roofs in the city.

He said: "I'm pleased no one was injured and that the situation was dealt with promptly.

"I do think we need to do something to stop people getting up on roofs as it is highly dangerous."

Residents are also seeking action to be taken to ensure that no one can access the empty building.

Linda Gayadeen, 55, secretary, of Thornhill, said: "We have had enough now. They should do something with it.

"They should put money into safely closing down the building.

"They should either close the building down or maintain it in the interest of the public.

"It cannot be left like that. It's not safe."

Hampshire Police are seeking anyone with information to call 101 and quote 44180345657.