Southampton postpone Championship game against Preston after huge fire nearby

The fire was yards from the stadium (Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service/Handout/PA Wire)
The fire was yards from the stadium (Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service/Handout/PA Wire)

Southampton’s Championship match against Preston North End on Wednesday night has been postponed due to a large fire which broken out at a factory near to St Mary’s Stadium.

The emergency services were called to a factory on Melbourne Street in Southampton, with the roads surrounding St Mary’s Stadium closed as fire crews try to put out the large fire, which is emitting thick black smoke.

The fire is believed to be in the former Greenhams building on Central Industrial Estate.

A statement from Southampton Football Club confirmed that the decision to postpone the game until a later date was made after consultation with local authorities and the emergency services.

It read: “Southampton Football Club regrets to announce that tonight’s Sky Bet Championship match against Preston North End has been postponed.

“The decision was made after consultation with the local authorities and emergency services after a major fire broke out in a building next to the St Mary’s Stadium site earlier today.

“The incident has caused significant disruption in the area with road closures around the stadium still in place as fire crews continue to deal with the situation.

“We are grateful for the cooperation of Preston and the EFL, and while we appreciate the disappointment fans may feel, we hope they will understand the need to put the safety of supporters and staff of both clubs first.

“The game will be postponed to a new date, which will be announced in due course, and all tickets for tonight’s match will be valid for the rearranged fixture.

Firefighters had warned residents who live nearby to keep their doors and windows shut.

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire & Rescue Service said on social media: “Crews are tackling a fire affecting industrial units near St Mary’s football stadium.

“People in the area are advised to keep windows and doors closed.

“Some roads local to the incident are closed and people are advised to avoid the area to allow movements of emergency vehicles.”

The same fire crew later revealed that additional fire engines had been called, taking the total to 18. The smoke billowing from the fire was spotted in the town of Cowes in the Isle of Wight.

Southampton, currently fourth in the Championship, are next in action on Saturday, when they are due to host Sunderland at St Mary’s.