A KITCHEN fire broke out inside a Southampton tower block after a cat allegedly knocked paper into a toaster.

Residents living on the second floor of 24-floor block Canberra Towers, on Kingsclere Avenue in Weston, were told to evacuate as flames erupted inside a kitchen.

A large number of fire crews and ambulances rushed to the scene at 3.22pm on Friday.

The Daily Echo spoke to the residents of the affected flat, who said the cat knocked paper that was on top of the microwave, which then fell onto the toaster.

Daily Echo:

Tracey Long said: "I've got two cats, and Sponge was the one who knocked the paper.

"He knocked paper off the microwave and into the toaster. It was quite scary."

She had lost Sponge when the Daily Echo first spoke to her, and had started to become tearful.

But moments later, Tracey relocated her cat inside the home.

"I lost him in the flat but now I've found him again."

Daily Echo:

Her husband Paul Long said he was on his games console when suddenly the kitchen went up in flames.

He said: "I was playing my Playstation and the next thing you know, the kitchen was in flames.

"The flat is ruined. The cat stood on the toaster and knocked something into it. Nobody was hurt."

Daily Echo:

Stairs to the second floor were seen covered in water after the fire.

Other residents said they saw "a lot of flames" coming from the second floor of the tall building.

One person said: "I walked downstairs and was told to get out. I had came out to the Co-op but my son was indoors.

"I told two firefighters and they got him out. All I saw was a lot of flames on the second floor."

While another said: "The whole thing was just ambulances and fire engines everywhere."

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A Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said: "Fire crews were mobilised at 3.22pm to Canberra Towers.

"Stations included are Redbridge, St Mary’s, Hightown, Hamble and Eastleigh.

"There is a suspected kitchen fire in one of the flats."

Residents were urged to keep access roads to the scene free, and were being told that the lifts were out of service.

In June 2019, a fire reportedly caused by a tumble drier erupted in a flat inside Canberra Towers.