AN INVESTIGATION has been launched after a fire broke out in a Southampton neighbourhood in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Crews tackled the fire near Romsey Road in Shirley, which gutted a charity’s van and destroyed a bin store.

Residents told the Daily Echo that they also heard explosions during the incident, which happened behind an Oxfam furniture store just after 5am.

When they awoke, neighbours were greeted with a scene of destruction. Stray bits of wood were scattered across the area, next to a partially-melted van and a blacken bin store.

A Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman confirmed two pumps from Eastleigh and Redbridge fire stations attended the scene following a call at 5.25am.

“The double bin store was 100 per cent damaged by fire,” he added.

“The commercial vehicle, (an Iveco van) owned by Oxfam, was 80 per cent destroyed.”

The stop message was received at 6.57am.

A passerby, Juliette Michaels, said: “We (my family and I) only live around the corner.

“I walk past this bin store every day and cannot believe it has been this destroyed by fire.

“I am just glad nobody was hurt in the incident.”

One neighbour, who did not want to be named, said she didn’t hear the fire engines but was shocked by the discovery.

“I was only off to get some milk; I didn’t expect to see this.” she added.

“I didn’t hear anything which makes this discovery even more shocking.

“What a terrible thing to happen.”

Officers from Hampshire Police also attended the scene. Oxfam had not responded to requests for comment as the Echo went to press.