A major fire has taken hold of a house at Poulner in Ringwood.
Flames engulfed the property at the Hangersley junction at around 6.30am this morning.
Shane Phayer, who lives nearby, rushed out to see if anyone was inside after his mum Bobbie saw the flames.
Smoke can still be seen from the A31 and the glass could be heard cracking and shattering under the pressure of the heat.
Six fire engines took more than two hours to bring the fire under control. Most of the front part of the property has had all the windows blown out and while the rear has been totally gutted by the flames.
Because the roof has been destroyed, fire crews had to weave the water from their jets through the broken windows to tackle flames in the gable end – it could collapse if hosed from above.
Southern Electric engineers are disconnecting the cables from the house and fire officers are now assessing the damage, but it will be some time before the house is safe enough to enter.
Group manager Andy Fox, from Hampshire Fire and Rescue, said the fire may have been going for more than an hour before they arrived on scene.
One watching resident said: “It’s not so much the bricks and mortar. It’s a lovely old house with a lot of history.”
Firefighters could earlier be seen trying to find mains locations for the water pumps while managing the influx of large vehicles on the small country lane.
Neighbours are helping to turn traffic back before the cordon and divert them back to the main road.
Jane and Mark Loader who were out for their early morning run said they saw the flames reaching well into the skyline.
Traffic is reportedly queuing on the A31 as drivers slow to look at the smoke.