People took refuge in a church as firefighters battled an inferno at a warehouse in Surbiton.

Fire engines carrying about 50 firefighters were called to a factory in King Charles Road at 12.30am this morning.

The fire badly damaged the two-storey building, which stores timber for a building merchant.

Residents eventually returned to their homes at about 3.30am after the crews from across south-west London had got the blaze under control.

Station manager Glen Blah, who was at the scene, said: “Due to the timber inside the warehouse this was a rapidly developing fire but our crews worked hard to stop it from spreading and to bring it under control.

“Due to the heavy spread of smoke we evacuated about 50 residents living near to the building to a local church as a precaution.” The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Did you see the fire? Call the newsdesk on 020 8744 4288.