Industrial estate hit by huge blaze


More than 100 firefighters from three counties tackled a large blaze on an industrial estate early today.

Several explosions involving liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders were heard as the fire ripped through units at Beesemer Road, off Harrow Way, in Basingstoke, Hampshire.

Stacks of smoke belching from the units forced firefighters to ask local residents to stay indoors and close their windows as the blaze took hold at around 12.30am.

The fire started in Unit 8, which houses the Ready Made Picture Frame Company, but spread to several other units, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said.

Area manager Steve Trevethick said: "On arrival, the initial crews were faced with a fully-developed fire in the light industrial block which was rapidly spreading from the front to the back of the building and across to other industrial units, with a large amount of smoke issuing.

"The building had partially collapsed. There were also several large explosions involving LPG cylinders."

Fifteen fire engines from across Hampshire were sent to the scene along with an aerial ladder platform, with support from Royal Berkshire and Surrey Fire and Rescue Services.

No-one was injured in the incident, a fire service spokeswoman said.

Mr Trevethick said: "Due to the swift, co-ordinated approach of crews we were able to prevent the fire spreading to further adjoining units and businesses and contained the fire within 50% of the industrial unit that was ablaze."

He added that the fire was a "multi-agency incident" which also involved the police and the Environment Agency. An investigation will be carried out into the cause.