A fire believed to be started deliberately has caused major damage to a block of flats.

Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service were called to Gade View Gardens in Abbots Langley at 9.24pm yesterday (Wednesday, October 9), where a third-floor landing was on fire.

Police say the fire caused extensive damage and five people had to evacuate their homes, all of whom have been placed in temporary accommodation.

No one was injured during the incident.

The mother of one of the victims said their child has been left "absolutely distraught" after being left with nothing following the fire.

The woman, who did not want to be named, said: "Everything in that flat has been destroyed.

"Their whole life was in that house and now it has all burnt to a crisp."

She also claimed that the fire alarm had not gone off following the fire.

But a spokesperson for Sanctuary Housing, landlord for the flats in Gade View Gardens, said it would be checking that fire safety measures in the building "worked as we would expect them to".

They said:“While the investigation into this fire is at an early stage, initial reports suggest that it may have been started deliberately in a communal area. We will work closely with local police officers and the fire service as they look to identify the exact cause.

“The residents from four flats have been moved into short-term temporary accommodation while investigative work continues and our local housing staff will be in regular contact with affected households to ensure they have the support they need.”

Crews from Hemel Hempstead and Kings Langley attended the fire, which was put out by 9.47pm.

Officers are treating the fire as a suspected arson and anyone with information should call the non-emergency number 101 quoting crime reference 41/91668/19.