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31 August 2011, 05:00
Fire crews spent Friday night tackling a fire at a recycling centre on an industrial site - with nearby homes having to be temporarily evacuated.
More than 70 firefighters from across the county as well as Berkshire and Surrey helped put out the flames at Lasham, near Basingstoke.
Hampshire fire and Rescue were called just before 5pm (Friday, August 26th) to the fire at Loddon Recycling in Church lane.
At the height of the fire there were 75 firefighters as well as other support staff. Fire crews from nearby Lasham Airfield also helped.
The officer in charge, Group Manager Steve Trevethick, said :
"The fire developed extremely fast with huge intensity, ripping through the building and setting nearby vehicles alight.
"Upon arrival at the premises crews assisted in the swift evacuation of employees.
"A dozen local private residences were also evacuated as a precaution and other occupants were advised to stay indoors with their doors and windows closed"
He added that during the course of their work they discovered there were propane cylinders at the site, a 5,000 litre diesel tank was also affected.
On Sunday the firefighting operation was scaled down and the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team helped with cutting away the remains of the building so there was access to hot spots.
On Monday and Tuesday members of the USAR team continued to cut away and remove the collapsed structure so they could get the stored batteries.
The batteries and other debris, much of which have melted together, have been removed.
There were no reported casualties and an investigation into the cause of the fire has begun.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue have told Heart it's too early to tell if it was started on purpose.