07 February 2019 08:30
A Hampshire industrial estate and nearby homes have been evacuated after a major fire at an Ocado warehouse that took more than 24 hours to bring under control. The online supermarket had been forced to cancel orders and warned of a "hit to sales" after the huge blaze ripped through its robotic warehouse. Around 200 firefighters were deployed to tackle the blaze which began at the Andover facility at 2.44am on Tuesday. Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) said four of its firefighters had been treated for slight smoke inhalation as they battled to bring the inferno under control. On Wednesday night HFRS announced that the Walworth industrial estate was being evacuated due to the risk of toxins being released or a large cylinder exploding.
The fire service said properties will be evacuated within a 500-metre exclusion zone and a 1.6km stretch based on wind direction. HUNDREDS of homes were evacuated last night over fears a huge fire could spark a toxic explosion at an Ocado warehouse. A 550-yard cordon has been set up as firefighters continue to tackle the blaze at the robot site in Andover, which broke out on Tuesday morning. Reuters 6 Homes have been evacuated due to the "risk of toxic release or large cylinder explosion" at a large fire sweeping through an Ocado warehouse Deputy chief fire officer Andy Bowers said the evacuation of Walworth Industrial Estate was a precaution to "keep the public safe". Some homes 1.6km away from the site will also be evacuated depending on the wind direction, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) said four of its firefighters had been treated for slight smoke inhalation as they battled to bring the blaze under control. The flames have been raging at the delivery firm's robotics plant in Andover, Hampshire, since the early hours of Tuesday. Hampshire deputy chief fire officer Andy Bowers said: "We have a risk of a toxic release or a large cylinder explosion. Chief fire officer Neil Odin told the BBC the design of the centre - which uses robots not humans to move products - meant it was difficult for firefighters to get inside. Hampshire fire and rescue service tweeted: "We are continuing to manage the incident at the Ocado Andover CFC site.
The blaze broke out at about 2.45am on Tuesday and spread overnight, causing substantial damage, the fire service said. Ocado was unable to say when deliveries would resume from the Hampshire facility, one of its automated warehouses, as it issued a warning to the stock market that its sales growth would take a hit from the blaze. Neil Odin, the chief fire officer of Hampshire fire and rescue service, said the fire had started in the racking system inside the building, which is designed for robots and automation, making the emergency service's job harder. Huge fire at Ocado's Hampshire warehouse brought under control Read more Facebook Twitter Pinterest Firefighters bring the fire at the Ocado robotic warehouse in Andover under control. The warehouse is thought to contain as much as £6m of stock, which was mainly handled by 600 robots that have been developed by Ocado as part of a highly automated grocery delivery system it is contracted to build for retailers around the world.
Image caption Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said parts of the building are likely to collapse Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said about 70 firefighters remained at the site and urged nearby residents to keep doors and windows shut. "This building is not meant for humans to be interacting with the racking and the storage - it has robots moving racking on to loading bays, so for firefighters trying to get in that high and to make an effective fire-fighting strategy, it has been very difficult," he said. On Tuesday Ocado said it had cancelled some customer orders because of the fire and it was "working hard to resume normal service as soon as possible". A FIRE at an Ocado warehouse in Hampshire has forced the evacuation of hundreds of nearby homes. Firefighters were continuing to tackle the blaze nearly 24 hours after it broke out in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said earlier roday that crews had brought the blaze under control, following it being declared a major incident last night. Leader of Test Valley Borough Council Councillor Phil North said environmental health officers are monitoring the air, as the fire service continues to advise residents to keep windows and doors closed in areas affected by the smoke. "We have spoken to Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and their advice remains to keep windows and doors closed in areas affected by the smoke. READ: Firefighters tackle warehouse blaze at Ocado Hundreds of homes were evacuated last night after an exclusion zone had to be set up around a fire at an Ocado warehouse. The fire at the warehouse in Andover had begun early on Tuesday and Hampshire Fire and Rescue said that it was evacuating properties within 500 metres of the building because of the "risk of toxic release or large cylinder explosion".
Firefighters had to cut holes in the roof to tackle the fire because the robot-controlled facility in Andover, Hampshire, was not designed with humans in mind. "It has robots operating to move racking on to the loading bays," Neil Odin, chief fire officer at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, said.