Explosions were reported after the blaze swept through a marina workshop containing flammable gas.

A huge fire at a workshop on a boatyard in Cowes on the Isle of Wight suspended ferry service to the island and saw nearby residents evacuated on 25 January.

Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue said more than 50 firefighters responded to the fire at Medina Village on Bridge Road in Cowes. A 200-metre cordon around the scene was put into place and the Cowes Chain Ferry halted operations.

Some 50 fibreglass boats were reportedly housed in the workshop, and eyewitness reports of explosions at the scene were attributed to canisters of the flammable gas acetylene that were kept on site. Plumes of dark, acrid smoke could be seen from well away from the site and reportedly settled across much of the surrounding area.

Nearby residents were evacuated from their home by the Isle of Wight Council set up a temporary shelter at the Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club.

Two people reportedly referred themselves to St Mary’s Hospital in Newport for smoke inhalation, and police reportedly advised residents of both West Cowes and East Cowes to keep their windows closed as a precautionary health measure.

Suspected hazardous materials at the boatyard caused the Isle of Wight’s South Central Ambulance service to mobilise its Hazard Area Response Team in response.

The fire was suppressed early yesterday evening and services returned to normal shortly thereafter.

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