A FIRE that destroyed a popular city restaurant has left the community shocked. 

Flames engulfed the 7Bone Burger eatery in Portswood Road on Friday night. 

Around 75 firefighters were scrambled from across Hampshire to tackle the blaze which forced a road closure. 

Meanwhile, people in nearby buildings were forced to evacuate.

READ MORE: Investigation launched after fire rips through burger restaurant

The roof of the restaurant has now collapsed and the interior is severely damaged.

Bruce Walton, manager of The Gordon Arms, which sits opposite, said: “It was a Friday night, so it was just starting to get busy and it turned into chaos.  

READ MORE: What we know so far after fire destroys burger joint

“The kitchen staff saw smoke coming into the kitchen, so I thought it was a problem with the ventilation system at first. 

“The fire was huge. I thought the building was going to collapse. It's pretty scary to see it so close.

"Everyone left and we had to close the doors and windows.” 

Daily Echo: Bruce Walton.Bruce Walton.

Portswood Road resident, Jerry Moore, 61, said: “Luckily the wind was blowing the other direction, so we didn’t get too much smoke in our house.  

“Police came round and told us to shut our windows.

"It was frightening to see and it’s lucky it didn’t spread.” 

Sohan Bass, 68, had been drinking at the Vape & Craft Lounge Bar, also opposite, on Friday

He said: “It started before I got to the pub. I walked up and saw people standing outside.

Daily Echo: Sohan BassSohan Bass

"I thought people were waiting for the bus or it was just busy because it was Friday.  

“Smoke appeared.

"It’s the first time I’ve seen that sort of thing. Lots of fire service trucks came and it was much later that they used water to put it out.  

“It was strange to see. I thought it could end with a gas explosion. 

READ MORE: Recap as firefighters tackle blaze at Southampton restaurant

“We didn’t know how serious it was until later. 

“The whole road was full of people, residents, and people from the pub watching it burn.

"I think some people passing by today just came to see what it looks like now.” 

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service has now launched an investigation to find the exact cause of the fire and a blockade has been set up around the premises.

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