VILLAGERS had to be evacuated last night after a 'fireball' engulfed a garage including 600 litres of diesel.

Firefighters were called to Clifton Hampden Road, Chiselhampton, near Oxford, at around 9pm last night.

Upon arrival, the initial crew were faced with a fire spreading fast and affecting a garage which contained 600 litres of diesel fuel.

Fire crews from Slade Park Fire station, Rewley Road fire station and Wheatley wearing breathing apparatus used jets and foam to tackle the fire and prevent further spread of flames caused by a fireball from the diesel.

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Residents in the surrounding area had to be evacuated to a nearby pub due to Acetylene gas cylinders that were involved.

They have all now returned to their homes.

Relief crews from Watlington Fire Station also attended overnight to check for hot spots and ensure the fire was completely extinguished.

Crew manager Brooker said: “Fires in garages can pose a different risk to firefighters due to the substances that are found within them, it is not unusual for occupiers to keep highly flammable items such as paints, fuels and other chemicals in there.

"This fire highlights the need for careful storage of those items and although this was an accident the speed and growth of the fire has made this community aware of the risks."