Weybridge Community Hospital engulfed by fire

Crews were called to the blaze late on Tuesday night

A large fire has ripped through Weybridge Community Hospital in Surrey.

Fire crews were called to the blaze at the building, which houses a walk-in centre that is only open during the daytime, late on Tuesday night.

People living near the scene of the fire have been evacuated from their homes for safety reasons and offered refuge inside St James’ Parish Church.

Images shared on social media show the roof of the three-storey all-purpose medical centre engulfed in flames.

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service said they had eight pumps, two aerial ladder platforms and three water carriers at the scene at the height of the blaze.

‘Loud bang’

Matt Leisegang, 28, who was evacuated from his home about 100m from the fire, said: "It was about 11.45pm when my wife woke me up and said there was a fire at the hospital.

"We heard people shouting outside and went to look through the window. We saw what was happening and ran down to see if we could help.

"That’s when I saw the left side of the roof was in flames already. Within about 15 minutes, the whole of the roof was alight.

"The building is only three storeys, and the top floor was completely engulfed in flames within a short time – that was the remarkable thing, how quickly the fire spread.

"Within about 40 minutes of the fire, the whole of the top floor was gone. I could only see flames."

Mr Leisegang added: "We were asked by the emergency services to move back – there was a loud bang, an explosion from the gas canisters.

"Everyone seems to be safe. There are about 30 people in the church, there were some children earlier but they have been sent to stay with relatives.

"We’re just thankful nobody seems to have been hurt."

Police said in a statement that a "large number" of residents had been evacuated and that roads around the building, including Weybridge High Street, have been closed and will remain so "for some time".

An investigation is taking place to try to establish the cause of the blaze.

At the scene, Peter Stewart, BBC Surrey

The fire is just behind Church Street over the road from Lloyds Bank and Barclays.

There is such a smell of smoke in the air, all the way up to Weybridge station and also the Brooklands race track.

Looking over the roofs on Church Street I can still see smoke over the shops.

There is so much smoke that the police officers who closed Church Road are wearing face masks.

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