FIREFIGHTERS have battled a devastating coach blaze at a site in Hampshire.

Three coaches and three minibuses were gutted and another minibus partially damaged in the fire at an operating centre for trucks, buses and coaches, off Upper Northam Drive in Hedge End.

The land is said to be owned by a farmer who rents plots out to businesses and individuals.

Those on site indicated that the vehicles involved were on the plot that belongs to Barfoot and Sons – only the shells of the vehicles remained this morning.

Residents spoke of seeing large flames and hearing explosions.

Fire engines from Hightown, St Mary’s and a water carrier from Eastleigh attended at 5.45pm yesterday to find an intense fire.

There was initial concern was that the plume of smoke it was causing could be blown towards the nearby M27 motorway, but firefighters said they had quickly managed to get it under control.

They remained at the fire for around four hours.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.