OCADO'S warehouse stands burnt out after firefighters tackled raging flames, leading to an evacuation of the surrounding area yesterday evening.

Drone footage today shows grey smoke wafting from the Walworth Business Park site, while the roof appears completely collapsed.

Ocado said fire crews are likely to work at the devastated unit for 'at least' the next few days.

Free taxi lifts, food donations and a crowdfunding page to thank emergency services were among the efforts seen as the community rallied round to help the town in its hour of need last night. 

As the evacuation unfolded, the White Hart Hotel was among the businesses offering hot soup, duvets, pillows and a place to stay for households hit by the decision.

A post on social media said: “Our thoughts are with all the families and homes affected by the evacuation due to the fire at Ocado. 

“Our hotel is almost full but should the evacuation stay in place we will set up a drop-in with duvets, pillows and refreshments to help our community through the night.”

Andover Premier Cars also jumped in to ferry people to a place of safety, as driver James said he saw abandoned cars and people walking down the A3093 in efforts to leave their homes.

The Good Samaritan said: “I came back from one of my jobs last night and I know being in the area with lots of kids, we needed to offer free transport so everyone could get out. 

“There were lots of abandoned cars down there last night, [people] walking down to town. I was just picking people up from the street taking them to Harrow Way school. 

“I took one family to Holiday Inn in Winchester.”

Drivers Ian and James worked through the night, including picking up emergency prescriptions for the British Red Cross on behalf of residents at the rest centre.

Liz from APEX Cars and independent driver Luke also dedicated their evenings to help transporting people across town.

Tesco was reported to have taken food donations to the refuge, while Ocado brought a stream of supplies to the town and paid for hotel rooms for affected residents.

An Ocado spokesperson said: “We apologise to all those affected by this incident and are very thankful to the people of Andover for their understanding and support during this difficult period.

“Ocado vans with food, drink, nappies and other essentials were sent to Andover and hotel rooms were made available for those who had to leave their homes during the night.  We would like to thank the large number of local businesses that came to the assistance of the community.”

A crowdfunding page has also been set up to raise £600 in appreciation of the efforts from fire crews, who were at the scene for more than 60 hours.

Amanda Simcox, who set up the page, is asking for donations to be split between all the stations that came to aid in the incident, so they can “hopefully use it to get a well-deserved take out.”

The Ocado employee said: “As many of you are aware, numerous fire crews from all over have come to help at Ocado in Andover. 

“Many of these firefighters have worked long hours in challenging conditions. We owe them a thank you gift. 

“All I’m asking is for £1 off as many people as possible. We will then split this between all the stations that tried so hard to save our work place.”

So far more than £400 has been raised.

Leader of Test Valley Borough Council Councillor Phil North has commended the community support.

He said: "I would also like to say how grateful I am to the local community for their unwavering spirit, patience and understanding throughout this incident.

"Yet again, I find myself incredibly proud of all those who live and work in our town. Their astonishing resilience and support for one another is truly overwhelming. Everyone has really rallied around to help each other.”

“I’d also like to thank my hardworking council officers some of which have worked extremely long hours today to help keep our local community safe.”

To donate to the crowdfunder, go to justgiving.com/crowdfunding/amanda-simcox