A YOUNG couple fled from their flat at Ash only minutes before it was engulfed in flames just before dawn on Sunday.

They were alerted by police as the fire, started by an arsonist, swept into the roof space of their home above Alldays.

The pair, who have not been named, are believed to have lost all their belongings in the blaze which also severely damaged the shop.

A fireman who attended the blaze said: "They were extremely fortunate to have got out alive. The flat was wrecked."

The couple, thought to be in their late 20s, were in bed asleep when the arsonist set light to a wheelie bin in an alleyway alongside the shop.

Thirty firefighters from Camberley, Rushmoor and Farnham spent almost four hours tackling the blaze.

Most of the shop's stock was ruined by a combination of smoke and water.

The arsonist is also believed to have been responsible for setting light to two other bins in the village during the same period.

One was outside the library where two windows were also smashed.

A Surrey police spokeswoman said: "We are studying CCTV footage in an effort to catch whoever was responsible."