TWO MEN were injured and horse stables engulfed in flames after more than 50 firefighters battled a huge fire at a yard in Denmead.
Emergency services were called to Sheepwash Lane at 4.08pm to get the fire at a car repair workshop under control.
A furniture restoration workshop called Boogaloo next door was also destroyed, and another workshop containing golf course machinery also damaged.
South Central Ambulance Service said today a man in his 50s suffered serious burns while another in his 40s was treated for smoke inhalation.
The fire is believed to be a work-related accident and multiple explosions came as a result of gas cylinders being overheated.
Many horse owners who keep their animals at the yard’s stables have lost their belongings – although they have said their horses were, luckily, unharmed.
A JustGiving page has been set up to help the horse owners replace their items.
Eight fire engines and emergency response vehicles were sent to the scene where large, black plumes of smoke could be seen coming from the workshop.
Crew manager Matthews, from Cosham Fire Station, said: ‘The workshop was fully involved in the fire and the unit is totally destroyed.
‘Gas cylinders had got to the point where they were so hot they were exploding.
‘Due to the amount of cylinders and concerns about the stability of the building fire crews took a defensive firefighting tactic which means they didn’t enter the building.
‘They fought the fire from outside and they did a really fantastic job saving surrounding vehicles and other things.
‘We’ve still got a presence up there now just in case any hot spots should reappear.’
Everyone was accounted for but two men were treated for minor burns and left in the care of the ambulance service.
Fire crews warned those living nearby to keep their windows and doors shut. A gas cylinder was later found in a nearby field.
The fire was under control 45 minutes to one hour after it broke out, however the majority of fire crews stayed at the scene for hours to make sure it was safe and that no other fires broke out.
A firefighter from Southsea Fire Station said: ‘We came from Horndean and the fire was visible when we got into Waterlooville.
‘Stables were engulfed in flames too, our main challenge was really getting a lot of water to the job, a few of us were allocated to do this and throw water back and forth from nearby locations.’
A local couple described the ‘terrifying’ moment they were first aware of the fire.
‘We heard a number of bangs which at first we thought were fireworks going off,’ they said.
‘We then heard a massive explosion which shook the walls of the house.
‘We ran outside into the garden to see the garage and the stables had gone up and were engulfed in the blaze.’