A major fire has severely disrupted business at Westway Nissan in Southampton after a huge blaze just yards from the showroom.
Firefighters have swamped the dealership forecourt to tackle the fire in a neighbouring bodyshop, believed to be Everyway Solutions.
Plumes of smoke could be seen across the city after the fire broke out at the site at around 7am this morning.
Firefighters were still at the scene at lunchtime today and were using the Nissan dealership for access.
More than 50 firefighters from 11 stations from across the city and surrounding area were sent to the blaze with pictures and videos shared on social media showing the garage at the rear of the dealership completely ablaze.
Major roads around the dealership – which has a prominent position near the entrance to the city in Redbridge – have been closed.
Firefighters said the neighbouring building had been ‘100 per cent affected by the fire’ and crews have been working to protect the surrounding buildings, including the Nissan dealership.
A Westway spokesperson said: ‘Our dealership is currently closed, due to the incident at an independent business located adjacent to our site.
‘The emergency services are keeping us updated and we hope to be able to regain access to our site very shortly.
‘Our staff and customers have all been fully informed of the disruption and any updates as the situation develops.’
Westway is the wholly owned dealership arm of Nissan UK.
Everyway Solutions is a workshop used for vehicle repairs and bodywork.
Emergency services dealing with a large blaze behind the Nissan garage near to Redbridge Roundabout. Hope everyone is ok pic.twitter.com/4peKmdnNwt
— Cllr Lee Whitbread (@sotonwhitbread) March 24, 2021
Police have urged people to avoid the area.
Firefighters from Redbridge, St Mary’s, Hightown, Fareham, Eastleigh, Beaulieu, Lyndhurst, Hamble, Fleet and Ringwood attended the incident and are due to be on the scene for ‘some time’.
The blaze could be seen in videos, like this one, shared on Facebook.
The aerial ladder platform from St Mary’s and Romsey’s environmental protection unit are also in attendance and using the Nissan dealer’s forecourt for access.
A Hampshire police spokesperson said: ‘We were called at 6.39am this morning, to reports of a fire at a garage on Redbridge Road, Southampton.
Firefighters are still on the scene at the workshop fire in #Redbridge where road closures remain🚒
— Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire & Rescue Service (@HantsIOW_fire) March 24, 2021
‘Officers are on scene to assist our colleagues at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service as they work to get the fire under control.
‘A cordon is currently in place as a safety precaution, including a section of the Redbridge Causeway. We would ask people to find an alternative route and avoid the area.’
The fire at the Nissan dealership is the second to hit the motor trade this week. Yesterday, Car Dealer reported on a major blaze inside the Dick Lovett Jaguar Land Rover dealership.
A Defender which was being charged inside the showroom caught light and was completely destroyed b the blaze. Firefighters said there had been ‘tens of thousands’ of pounds worth of damage.
Pictures: Cllr Lee Whitbread, Twitter; Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service Twitter; Facebook video screen grabs
First published: 10:32, March 24; Updated following new information 11:58; 12:35 Westway statement added
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