Investigation After Massive Fire

Firefighters have today (Wednesday) been tacking a large fire at The County Market in Kingsley, Hampshire.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service Control Room operators received an emergency call at 05:04 this morning [Wednesday, 31 March) with reports of a fire at The Country Market, a large garden centre and farm shop in Kingsley.

Crews from Bordon, Alton, Grayshott, Liphook, Farnham, Rushmoor, Petersfield and Basingstoke were mobilised to attend the incident. Supporting resources included the Special Equipment Unit, Aerial Ladder Platform, Water Carriers, Multi-role Vehicle, Incident Command Support and Emergency Catering Unit.

Due to the remote location a High Volume Pumping Unit was also deployed in order to secure a water supply from a nearby river.

On arrival firefighters faced a serious fire in the upper floor space of the large building, which measured 50x55m, with flames issuing from the upper windows. Crews immediately set about tacking the flames to bring the blaze under control.

At the height of the incident there were 80 firefighters in attendance, using ten sets of breathing apparatus and four jets. The Aerial Ladder Platform was used to extinguish the flames from above.

Police evacuated 20 people from nearby properties and also closed the A325. One male was taken to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.

Area Manager Mark Rayner, officer in charge of the incident, said: “This was an extensive and serious fire which developed quickly, partly due to the windy conditions which cause the fire to rapidly spread throughout the building. Crews worked extremely hard, in what were challenging conditions to bring the blaze under control and extinguish the flames. Firefighters were successful in preventing the spread of the fire to some nearby properties but unfortunately 95% of the main building was destroyed by the fire.”

The stop was received at 11:18. Relief crews currently remain at the scene damping down.

A full fire investigation is under way and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service is working with Hampshire Constabulary to determine the cause of the fire.

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