Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Large fire destroys Hampshire Tesco store

A fire has destroyed a Tesco store in Hampshire with the flames causing the roof to collapse.

The manager evacuated the express store at the Westbrook Centre in Grassmere Way, Waterlooville, when the fire started on Wednesday evening.

The fire service believe it was started when rubbish was set alight at the rear of the building.

It took 44 firefighters four hours to extinguish the blaze. One man was taken to hospital after inhaling smoke.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

Residents said it was the third major fire at the premises in the past 10 years.

'Razed to ground'

Eyewitness Jason Wornham, who lives nearby, said he believed the fire started outside the store, near the back doors.

He added: "The store seemed to catch fire... and very quickly it took hold in the roof in particular.

"Within 40 minutes the store was fully ablaze and utterly ruined.

"It took the firefighters quite a while to get it under control, it was a pretty large fire.

"Apart from some of the brick structure it has been razed to the ground."

Station manager Dave Graham said: "It was reported that rubbish was on fire at the rear but spread into the building.

"I was several miles away and I saw the column of smoke when I was paged to the incident.

"Due to the fire's ferocity we tackled it from outside as the roof collapsed within 15 minutes."

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