UPDATED: Investigation underway after fire sparks explosions that rock city
10:24pm Sunday 31st August 2014
10:24pm Sunday 31st August 2014
A MAJOR investigation is underway today after a huge warehouse blaze rocked parts of Southampton.
More than 25 firefighters from across the city have been battling flames engulfed the building in Marchwood.
Heidi Rehman, 41, a fundraiser for The Haven Wessex, who lives in Kestrel Close, Marchwood: "It shook every house in the village and was heard the other side of Southampton.
"It smells of gas. Our whole house shook. We felt all the doors and the windows shake for several seconds like a mini earthquake.
"We didn't know what it was at first but then realised we could hear a lot of emergency services vehicles. Everybody is talking about it."
Jackie Clevett, of Hythe, was one of many people posting pictures on Twitter. She said: "The explosion made me jump. I felt the windows shake. I could tell it wasn't immediately nearby."
Sarah Dorricott, 24, was at home in her house in Bilberry Drive when she heard the explosion.
She said: "I was in my room and the window shook and I heard a loud bang - I thought my parents had slammed a door downstairs but they ran upstairs to see if I had banged something.
"It was only when I went on social media that I realised it was an explosion. I could see the smoke and a glow from my window.
"I'm glad nobody was hurt."
Chloe Adams, 28, an assistant merchandiser who lives in a block of flats in Briton Street, In the centre of Southampton, said: "The entire flat jolted but without any obvious cause. There was a sudden gust of wind that blew through but for no reason. It was all a bit eerie.
"I can't believe it was caused by a fire so far away. It must have be such a big explosion to be felt this distance."
The warehouse, which is home to a lorry servicing unit, is located on an industrial park in Cracknore Hard, close to the military base in Marchwood.
It is understood that the one-storey steel structure, which measures 35m x 25m, was empty when the fire started and there have been no reports of any injuries.
The explosions heard and felt by residents across the city are believed to have been caused by numerous gas cylinders combusting as the fire took hold.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue have confirmed that the fire is under control and "all are safe". The fire is still burning, but there is said to be no risk to any surrounding buildings.
Crews from St Mary's, Hardley, Totton and Hythe were all drafted in to help tackle the blaze at about 7.30pm last night.
A spokesperson from Hampshire Fire and Rescue said that it is not known who raised the alarm and that most of the building had been damaged by the fire.
Hampshire Police have been assisting the fire crews at the scene and South Central Ambulance Service are also there on standby.
A spokesman said: "South Central Ambulance Service were called to reports of a fire in Cracknore Hard Lane. We have sent our Hazardous Area Response Team, ambulance officer and an ambulance crew to the scene. Ambulance staff remain on standby at the site.”
County councillor David Harrison, who represents Marchwood, told the Daily Echo that he had contacted Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service who assured him the blaze was out.
He said: "It was heard as far away as Hythe, so it probably cause a little bit of alarm but it is under control."
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