Fire service to remain at Ocado's damaged site for 'next few days'

EVACUATION Homes have been cleared after a massive fire at an Ocado warehouse

"We expect the rest of the building to be lost in this fire", said Neil Odin, Chief Officer at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Emergency services have been tackling the fire since Tuesday morning at the highly automated site, which uses hundreds of robots.

It said that due to concerns over the presence of pressurised refrigerants at the site, the police conducted a limited evacuation of the immediate area on Wednesday evening.

This comes after a risk of a toxic release or a large cylinder explosion was on the cards.

Ocado has apologised to those affected by a major fire at its Hampshire warehouse after nearby homes were evacuated amid a blaze firefighters are still tackling.

The fire started in a small, elevated part of the warehouse, and its cause remains unknown.

"This is obviously a bad event and thankfully no one has been hurt, although some firefighters have been treated for smoke inhalation".

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

The delivery giant's share price climbed three per cent today, recovering some losses in the blue-chip firm's stock value after investors feared for the firm's future growth in the wake of the blaze, which has been raging since the early hours of Tuesday. "Thank you. Stay safe".

"Once we have had time to assess the damage and prepare a plan to return the CFC (customer fulfilment centre) to operation we will update further as appropriate", it added.

The online grocer's shares were down 7% on Thursday after it said it would see a fall in sales growth until it can shift operations to other warehouses.

The Andover complex had been providing about 10 percent of the firm's capacity in Britain, using robotic technology that it is selling to grocery retailers around the world.

Ocado said it had been forced to cancel some customer orders because of the fire and it was "working hard to resume normal service as soon as possible".

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