Scores of people have been evacuated from their homes in the middle of the night after a fire tore through a hospital building.
Residents near the Weybridge Health Centre in Surrey were given refuge inside St James’ Parish Church after being told to leave their homes for safety reasons.
Nearly a dozen fire crews are tackling the blaze at the multi-purpose medical centre.
The blaze, which witnesses said took hold “extremely quickly”, started at around 11.45pm on Tuesday – several hours after the building closed for the day.
Matt Leisegang, who was evacuated from his home around 100 metres from the blaze, said he heard a “loud bang” and saw the top floor of the building “engulfed”.
“It was about 11.45pm when my wife woke me up and said there was a fire at the hospital,” said the 28-year-old.
“We heard people shouting outside and went to look through the window.
“Within about 15 minutes, the whole of the roof was alight.
The personal chef 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.”
Surrey Fire and Rescue Service said crews would be in place “for some time”.
A Surrey Police statement confirmed there were no injuries.
It added: Roads around the building, including Weybridge High Street, have been closed and are likely to remain so for some time.
“An investigation is under way to establish the cause of the fire which remains unknown at this time.”