14 Jan 2013
A major fire that broke out in a Co-operative store is believed to have been caused by a faulty freezer.
The incident took place at the shop in Waterlooville, Hampshire at around 2.50pm on January 5.
Staff immediately called the emergency services after seeing smoke rising from the rear of a freezer unit.
The single-storey building was engulfed by flames when more than 30 firefighters arrived on the scene.
They used four sets of breathing apparatus, four water jets and an aerial ladder platform as part of their efforts to tackle the blaze.
Amid fears that the roof could collapse, the firefighters had to withdraw from the building at one stage.
Tony Deacon, group manager at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, explained that fires in similar retail outlets in the past have shown “how quickly the roof can be compromised”.
Three people were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation with one subsequently taken to hospital as a precaution, but fortunately there were no serious injuries in the incident.
The Co-op store was, however, entirely destroyed by the fire.
Copyright Press Association 2013