POLICE are at the scene of a "firebombing" incident at a Southampton block of flats.

Officers were called to a fire at Purbrook Close, near Aldermoor Road, at about 11pm on Monday.

Residents were evacuated and the incident is being treated as arson.

A resident who lives on the ground floor of the building told the Daily Echo that the incident happened at about midnight.

They said: "We heard loud smashing and shouting.

"We opened the door to see smoke and flames in the hallway and we saw two people running away from the block.

"The block was full of smoke and the window on the ground floor was smashed.

"Someone firebombed the building – it stank of methanol or petrol.

"I have four kids and my neighbours have a newborn baby.

"A firebomb is not a prank; it is trying to kill someone.

"This is going to scar my children for life."

A Hampshire Constabulary statement said officers were called at 11pm on Monday to reports of a fire at the block of flats.

Southampton West Neighbourhood Inspector Paul Southam said: “This incident caused a lot of disruption and concern to the residents of Purbrook Close last night.

"Many families had to leave their homes late at night while we dealt with the incident.

“We’re lucky no one was seriously hurt. I would like to urge anyone who witnessed this incident or knows who is responsible to get in contact with us.”

No-one was reported as being injured.

A Southampton City Council van is also parked at the building.

Anyone with information can contact police on 101, quoting reference number 44190130576.