RESIDENTS had to be evacuated after a historic building caught fire yesterday.
The fire broke out at Ranksborough Hall in Langham at about 1pm.
The three-storey property, which was built in 1893, is being been converted into flats.
Three people inside the hall – a resident in one of the flats and a couple on holiday there – had to leave the premises while the fire service tackled the blaze.
Warren Elliott, 33, who has lived in a ground-floor flat at the hall for 10 years, said: “A groundsman alerted me to the fire.
“The minute I opened my front door I could smell smoke and when I went outside I could see flames leaping out the roof where the fire service had removed tiles to get to the source.
“The firefighters were very efficient.
“I dread to think what could have happened if they hadn’t been there to deal with the fire so quickly.
“I’ve been allowed back into the property now but the whole house still smells of smoke and my electric has been cut off.”
Mr Elliott was allowed home almost immediately.
Four fire crews from Melton and Oakham fire station attended the scene.
They located the fire to a roof void above a ground-floor toilet near the main entrance and believe it was caused by an electrical fault.