FIRE and police officers are investigating a blaze in a residential flat at Stanbridge Earls School in Awbridge.

Crews from Romsey, Redbridge and Eastleigh tackled the fire which broke out just before dawn on Tuesday. Smoke was coming from the first floor of the flat when firefighers arrived and crews had to don breathing apparatus to get inside the building. Water was used to fight the fire.

The flat, which is one of two, is used by a member of school staff and it was unoccupied at the time. A Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson confirmed that the blaze was confined to one level of the flat. Fire crews left the scene at 8am. Police and fire officers are now probing how the blaze started. A member of school staff heard the fire alarm sound and called Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.

A spokesperson for Stanbridge Earls School said: “Luckily the member of staff using the flat is away on holiday. Damage was localised to one room in the flat. Now we need to get to the bottom of what happened.”