AROUND 40 firefighters rushed to a Southampton garage which was on fire.

Crews from Eastleigh, St Mary’s and Hightown raced to Lumsden Avenue in Shirley to battle the blaze at a tyre garage.

A spokesman for Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said crews were sent to a commercial garage fire involving cars at 10.45am. Six appliances were sent.

Earlier today, group manager Brian Rudman said: "We have about 40 firefighters tackling the blaze here. We were called to a small garage to a commercial fire and upon leaving, our crews could see a large ploom of smoke.

"No one was inside the building, which has been 100% affected by the fire. It's unlikely the building could be repaired.

"Around six or seven vehicles have been damaged, and I would say it's likely that they've been destroyed."

Residents were also advised to keep their windows as doors closed due to smoke and asbestos in the roof of the garage.

Shirley Road had been closed between Howard's Road and Janson Road as a result, and Bluestar and First Southampton had been diverting bus services. 

The road was reopened at around 12pm with bus services also returning to normal.

Tess, who dialled 999, said: “I thought it was our building at the back that was on fire, that’s how close it was to us.

“I called 999 and saw that some of the cars had been damaged, I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Firefighters are now damping down the scene so they can gain access to the garage.