THOUSANDS of reels of old cine film have been destroyed in a fire which has engulfed a two-storey building in Southampton.

Fire crews spent all night at the scene of the blaze in Hill Lane, near its junction with Archers Road, and are expected to remain there for the rest of today.

The content of the films is not known but about 3,000 reels have gone up in smoke. 

The fire has caused a huge amount of smoke and people living in the area are being urged to keep their doors and windows shut.

The fire broke out in a two-storey building - thought to have once been a house - at Pinedene Films.

Fire service group manager Mick Thompson said: "The fire involves a private collection of cine film. There's an awful lot of it and we don't know how much history has been lost.

"We can't access the building because the roof has collapsed.

"The fire will burn itself out, with our help, which is why we will be here for some time."

The blaze is sending a thick plume of smoke into the sky.

Hill Lane is open but is reduced to one lane at the scene of the fire and long queues are building up in both directions.

A neighbour said: "it started around 6pm yesterday and I was surprised it was still going this morning.

"I was sitting in the lounge when I noticed the small of smoke and saw blue lights in the street outside".

"I thought it was out around 8pm but it was fully ablaze at 9-10pm."

Daily Echo:

Earlier today Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service tweeted: "Four crews are still on the scene but the blaze is under control.

"The fire involves old cinema reels and thousands may be lost.

"Please avoid the area and if you live nearby keep windows and doors closed."

Later a HFRS spokesman said two fire engines from St Mary's fire station were still at the scene of the fire, which involved an outbuilding.

He said the blaze involved a large quantity of cine film but was unable to confirm the content.

Daily Echo:

A Southampton resident tweeted: "It's super smokey and smells like fire even over in Ocean Village. The smell's noticeable in my flat as well."

Firefighters say they are likely to remain at the scene for some time.