UPDATE: Shops left without power in Fareham after explosion at electricity substation

Smoke rises above the town centre after the explosion. Picture: Bob Prescott
Smoke rises above the town centre after the explosion. Picture: Bob Prescott

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Shops in Fareham have been left without power this afternoon after a fire in the town centre.

Local residents told The News they had heard an explosion near the power station by Hartlands Road.

Bob Prescott, who was in the town centre with his daughter Abi when the incident happened, said he saw a ‘large fireball erupt’ into the sky.

He added: ‘The explosion set fire to the bushes and covered a silver Peugeot car in a black liquid. Police and fire crews were quickly on the scene.’

Another eyewitness, Georgia Horton, said she was outside the Reel Cinema when she heard a noise and saw a car ‘go up’ in the air.

She added: ‘I heard a huge bang and when I looked up, a car was on fire and smoke was everywhere.

Crews from Portchester, Fareham and Southsea Fire Stations have been attending a fire at the station, but the scene has been confirmed safe.

A Hampshire Fire and Rescue spokesman said firefighters were called to a ‘small fire’ just before 12.10pm, and that three cars had been damaged by an explosion.

The fire was put out using a hose reel shortly after 12.45pm.

Hampshire Police confirmed officers were sent to the scene but the fire had been extinguished when they arrived.

There has been no injuries reported, and a spokesman said there is no wider risk to members of the public.

Engineers are on site trying to restore power and determine the cause of the incident.

Several shops in the town centre are reportedly without power.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks confirmed there has been a power cut in the PO16 area, but have not said how many properties have been affected.

It added that power is likely to be restored by about 3pm.