POLICE confirmed today they have launched an arson investigation into a River Way house fire.

Beaulieu Court residents stood outside their homes for hours on Monday morning as firefighters tackled an overnight blaze which one witness described as ‘traumatic’.

Crews from Andover and Whitchurch fire station were called to the home at 2.11am to battle the fire which severely damaged the Aster-owned property.

Firefighters used ten breathing apparatus, two hose reels and one jet to put out the fire and a ventilation fan to clear smoke while some neighbours left their homes and stood in the street until four to five o’clock in the morning.

A police spokesperson said: “We can confirm we were called at 2.22am on Monday 5 March to a report of a fire at a house in Beaulieu Court, Andover.

“Officers attended and the fire was extinguished by colleagues from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service. No-one was injured although there was extensive damage to the building.

“The fire is being treated as arson and an investigation is underway.”

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said 80 per cent of the ground floor was damaged by fire with 100 per cent of both the ground and first floor damaged by smoke.

One neighbour, who wished not to be named, said: “We got a bang on the door at two-ish, and you knew something was going on.

“I was panicking. My landlord came down and all I heard was “get out of the house”.

“We were stood outside until four to five in the morning. I didn’t know what was going on because I couldn’t see the flames.

“It was horrible to be honest, it was traumatic. The whole experience was really scary.”

Another resident, who wished not to be named, said they woke up because they couldn’t breathe.

They said: “We heard screaming and shouting which is normal, people sounded like they were drunk, lots of banging you could hear them from outside. Probably about half an hour later smoke alarms were going off, that is a normal occurrence, but then I woke up because I couldn’t breathe.

“I saw flashing lights, lots of fire officers and I said I have got to get out of the house. So we stood outside, we couldn’t get our cars out because they were blocked with incident support cars and ambulances.

“It was bad.”

It was initially reported there were people still inside the home but upon arrival, fire crews found all people who were in the home accounted for.

Fire crews left the scene at 4.29am, but forensic officers and police were seen at the house later that day.

An Aster spokesperson said they are helping the police with their enquiries.

Anyone with information should call police on 101, quoting 44180083347.