A DISCARDED cigarette caused a blaze on a seventh-floor balcony.
Passers-by noticed flames coming from balcony of flats, in Portsmouth Road, next to the railway station in Cosham, at 4.30am on Sunday.
The occupants of the flat had no idea there was a fire just feet from where they were sleeping until firefighters hammered on their front door to wake them up.
The fire was so fierce it burned through to the balcony below but the smoke did not enter the buildings through the glass doors despite smouldering for several hours.
Cosham watch manager Steve Pearce said: ‘It was hours before the fire started from when the cigarette was dropped. Luckily it didn’t go in the flat and was confined to the balcony because it could have been quite a severe fire.
‘A friend had been out there smoking earlier in the evening and dropped a cigarette, couldn’t find it, and assumed it had blown off.
‘The occupants then went out on the town, got back at 1am, smelled smoke but couldn’t see any fire.’
The blaze took two hours to put out.