Eastleigh’s latest bus company has been dealt a serious blow as three of their fledgling bus fleet were severly damaged in a blaze last night.
Two double decker buses and a single decker coach caught fire at the Xela bus depot in Monks Brook Industrial Park, Chandlers Ford last night at about 6.30 pm.
Three fire crews from Eastleigh Fire Station were joined at the scene by a crew from Romsey Fire Station and the Service’s Incident Command Unit.
In total 20 firefighters tackled the incident and prevented the fire from spreading to an adjacent two-storey building . Four jets, 10 sets of breathing apparatus, one portable hand-held Prima Foam Unit, and one foam branch were used to bring the blaze under control.
Due to the extensive use of foam to tackle the incident, all of the drains in the immediate vicinity were blocked and firefighters used environmental packs to stop any potential run off into the drains and nearby Monks Brook.
This morning there was a full investigation underway with CID and fire investigation officers on the scene.
Xela bus had been operating a range of free local services sponsored by local supermarkets designed to encourage shoppers to leave the car take the bus to go shopping instead.
Shocked employee’s surveyed the burned out remains with company director Phil Blair who told Eastleigh News:
“We feel disappointed, dismayed and devastated at what has happened”
Clearly upset, he declined to make any further until more information was to hand.
The Incident Commander, Station Manager Chris George, today said:
“The swift actions of our fire crews prevented this incident from becoming far more serious. There were three other buses that were driven off the site by fire service personnel to limit the damage, and there were also high-value vintage buses parked at the side of the building, which were protected by the fire crews and saved from the blaze.
“This fire was difficult to bring under control due to the way the vehicles were parked closely to each other and close to the building. There was also the added problem of the fuel being involved in the fire, which is why crews used firefighting foam. We would advise all premises owners to ensure that vehicles are parked a safe distance away from their buildings, with suitable distances between each vehicle to prevent potential fire spread.”
Photos: HFRS and Stephen Slominski