Industrial estate evacuated after Ocado warehouse blaze

Firefighters at the scene of Ocado robotic warehouse in Andover Hampshire

Firefighters at the scene of Ocado robotic warehouse in Andover Hampshire Credit PA

A spokesperson told TWinFM: "Since our last update, the Fire Brigade has continued to work to bring the fire at Andover under control".

More than £1 billion has been wiped off the value of Ocado after a fire savaged its warehouse in Hampshire on Tuesday night.

But now, the whole of Walworth Business Park has been evacuated, according to reports.

Firefighters have been tackling the blaze on the Andover site for more than 40 hours, after crews were called to the scene at 02:44 GMT on Tuesday.

"The fire in the robot-run distribution centre is now under control and it is no longer a major incident", the fire service added. "Due to concerns over the presence of pressurised refrigerants on site, the police conducted a limited evacuation of the immediate area on Wednesday evening".

The cause of the fire has not been established. Four firefighters have been treated for minor smoke inhalation.

Ocado said part of the roof collapsed overnight, but it confirmed no members of the Ocado team or the public were injured.

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One local resident tweeted during the blaze: "Just streets away - the noise, heat, smell and light pouring from the Ocado warehouse is frighteningly real".

More than 300 firefighters were tackling the blaze on Wednesday afternoon, after it was declared a major incident.

Ocado added it was working to minimise disruption for customers by increasing capacity at its three other major United Kingdom facilities in Hatfield, north of London, Erith, near the capital and Dordon in central England. "Thank you. Stay safe".

But the firm stressed it has comprehensive insurance for the property, stock and equipment and for business interruption losses.

The setback for Ocado, which has warned that sales will be hit as a result of the blaze, comes amid the firm's transformation plan to build robot-operated warehouses for retailers across the world.

Ocado said the hi-tech robotic warehouse in Andover provided around 10% of its current capacity and its shutdown means there will be a "constraint on our ability to meet our growing customer demand".

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