MORE than 50 firefighters from across Hampshire are tackling a huge blaze in the centre of Southampton.
St Marys Street and A33 Kingsway are both shut following the blaze, which has broken out in an area known as Harrisons Cut.
The service originally said the blaze broke out in a derelict building but are now describing it as a timber-framed building under construction.
50 firefighters battling major fire in Southampton city centre in St Marys Street
Pictures shared on social media show thick, black smoke rising from the site of the fire and fire services say the building has been entirely engulfed by flames. Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said on Twitter: “There are 50 firefighters on the scene of #StMarysFire. Please avoid the area of St Marys Road in central Southampton.”
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Nearby buildings have “been evacuated as a precaution”, Hampshire Police and the fire service confirmed on Twitter.
The fire service in its latest update said 10 fire engines and two aerial ladder platforms are at the scene.
Another tweet from the fire service said: “Firefighters are battling a large blaze in a timber-framed building which is under construction.”
Pictures shared on social media show flames ripping through the construction site, which is surrounded by other buildings.
It tweeted: “Brief update on the fire in Southampton – Fire involving a timber framed building measuring 40m x 50m. The building currently under construction.
“The building is 100% involved by fire. 9 jets, 2 hose reels and 1 fan spray currently in use.”