Firefighters battled flames after reports of an explosion at a car workshop in Warlingham and have managed to get the blaze under control.

A man has been treated for smoke inhalation after the fire broke out at Ken's Autos in Limpsfield Road, Warlingham, this morning.

One man is being treated in hospital for burns.

Staff said it was "too raw" to talk about the fire.

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) sent six engines and 35 firefighters at the building, half of which is alight, after being called at 11.16am.

A spokesman for LFB said firefighters from Addington, Purley and Croydon have been tackling the flames and will be there this afternoon damping down.

Neighbouring shopkeepers described hearing a loud bang and feeling the ground shake before smoke billowed from the garage.

Kirsty Simpson, 25, owner of Threadbear needlework shop, said: "We heard the explosion in the shop. There was one big one and then a series of smaller ones. Then there was thick black smoke.

"We were evacuated by police at about 12. I think they were worried about the possibility of further explosions.

"It was a little bit frightening but it was across the road so we were fairly safe. The main think I was concerned about was if there was flying glass."

A florist, who did not want to be named, said: "There was a massive bang and we could feel the ground moving.

"They ran out of the garage and you could see lots of smoke and flames.

"The police asked us to leave about 20 minutes later."

Patricia King, 63, had been returning to her house in Kingswood Road when the fire broke out.

She said: "There was big black smoke. It filled the sky. It looked like oil burning.

"They closed the road so we've just been stood here waiting since."

He added the brigade had received unconfirmed reports of explosion but that no gas cylinders were thought to remain onsite.

Surrey Ambulance Service have treated one man.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

Croydon Guardian:

Photo: Emmanuel Ademuyiwa

Croydon Guardian:

Photo: Emmanuel Ademuyiwa