A SCARED resident said that an arson attack at a block of flats in Southampton "could have been like Grenfell Tower."

The news comes after firefighters battled a blaze after a van was set alight in an underground carpark below Cabot House flats in Chapel Road on November 12 at around 8:30pm.

Around 15 reports were made from people, who reported seeing smoke coming from under the building which is owned and managed by Aster Group.

It has also been reported by Police that one person was taken to hospital.

Crews from Hightown, St Mary's, Redbridge and Eastleigh all attended the fire.

The van was completely destroyed by the blaze, while the underground carpark was also damaged.

Residents in the building were evacuated for around 45 minutes.

Hayley Smith, 31, has lived in the building for the past 9 years.

She said: " No alarms in the building went off, if this had happened at 2am when we were asleep we probably wouldn't have known that there was a fire.

"If that had been the case then who knows what could have happened, we only knew it was happening because people were shouting outside, it could have been like Grenfell Tower.


"My daughter was so scared that she slept in her clothes as she was worried we might have to leave again."

Narinda Kaur,41 said: "If it had happened when we were all asleep we would have been dead.

"The van has been dumped there for months.

"I reported it to but the police and Aster said that they couldn't move it.

"Youths go into the underground car park and mess around."

Another resident who wished not to be named said: "The van was vandalised about a month ago.

"Groups of kids are always going in and out of the car park.

"The fire was scary, we were worried it was going to blow up."

A spokesperson from Hampshire Police said: "We were called at 8.36pm last night (Monday 12 November) to reports of a fire at an underground car park in The Compass, Southampton.


"A van was set alight in the car park.

"One person was taken to Southampton General hospital for treatment to smoke inhalation.

"The incident is being treated as arson and enquiries are ongoing to establish the exact circumstances.

"Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101, quoting 44180425547.

A spokesperson from Aster Group said: “We are aware of the fire at Cabot House in Southampton and we are working with the emergency services as they carry out their investigations.

“Our local neighbourhood team has been onsite today providing reassurance and advice to our residents and we will continue to do all we can to help keep our customers informed and any disruption to a minimum.

“We would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone to regularly test smoke alarms and to be aware of any fire safety advice and fire escape routes in their homes."